The promises were huge. The failure is appalling. Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Lionel Messi. An offensive trident ready to take Paris Saint-Germain to the top of Europe. Three stars driven by the rage to win. A trio capable of overcoming any defense on the football planet. Statistics worthy of the greatest. Three extraordinary talents. In August 2021, when La Pulga was packing its bags in the French capital, many observers announced a change in dimension for the Rouge et Bleu. There are also many followers who predicted a collective disarmed by the impact of such players. As brilliant as it is on the attacking front, this golden triangle – nicknamed the fantastic three since the departure of Angel Di Maria – is also illustrated by many flaws.
XXL statistics, a discussed performance…
Individualist, carnivorous, sometimes selfish, the MNM has often, unwittingly or not, centralized Parisian news. Symbol, moreover, of a fragile institution where the player unfortunately exceeds the only functions conferred on him, the performance of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar at PSG is thus tainted. A sparkling trio with a sometimes dubious mentality. A questionable and discussed agreement. A “I love you me neither” regularly hurting the group as a whole. Too big ? Too strong ? Too imposing? The MNM has, however, too often disrupted the Parisian machine. A paradox all the more regrettable in view of the intrinsic performances of the three Parisian attackers. And for good reason. When looking at the statistical line of the previously mentioned protagonists, criticism seems impossible.
Kylian Mbappe? Top scorer in club history, 35 goals, 9 assists in 38 matches in all competitions this season. Lionel Messi? Criticized, criticized, whistled but well and truly at the head of 20 goals and 19 offerings in 37 games since the start of the 2022-2023 financial year. Finally, Neymar. Unconditional fan of poker, guest of choice at McDonald’s in his region but above all a luxury striker, with 18 goals and 17 caviars in 29 matches in all competitions. How to discuss such an impact? Why criticize this trident involved in 118 PSG goals since the start of the season? Unthinkable for some, obvious for others. The reasons are many, however. Because, yes, football can only be reduced to numbers. And the rest is undoubtedly much less glorious.
The MNM, a chaotic relationship!
On the pitch first, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar can only be judged through the prism of statistics. Too often guilty of a certain relaxation and a crumbly state of mind, the star trio of PSG is illustrated above all by its lack of desire, especially on the defensive level. “We exploit the weaknesses of PSG, we know that it does not defend much in front. In the ball outings, it was easy because the three attackers (Messi, Neymar, Mbappé) do not defend. We knew that from the moment we passed this first curtain… it was easier. Admittedly, they always make the effort to press a little bit but they don’t really participate in the defensive tasks of their team, that’s what we worked on, we wanted to exploit it and that’s what We knew how to do well, that’s why we created so many chances.”noted, as such, Yunis Abdelhamid, defender of the Stade de Reims. An oversight of the collective generating, logically, an embarrassing imbalance.
So obviously, the MNM cannot be held solely responsible for the Parisian failures. On all the lines of the eleven aligned by Christophe Galtier in recent weeks, criticism is raining. Without Neymar, injured in the ankle and out until the end of the season, PSG also showed appalling fragility. The Parisian midfielder has never seemed so catchable. The rearguard of the Rouge et Bleu is too often conspicuous by its lack of authority. Even Gianluigi Donnarumma has failed many times. However, when it comes to analyzing this collective collapse, the MNM personifies, to a large extent, many elements of the response. Caprices, extra-sporting escapades, inappropriate communications, oversized egos, regular conflicts, guilty state of mind, questionable mentality, the list around the MNM has only grown during this 2022-2023 season. And this, despite a convincing start (the dislocation having taken another turn after the 2022 World Cup).
Lionel Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappé, I’m the boss…
Symbol of a chaotic threesome where everyone wants above all to pull the blanket to themselves, these many tensions have marred the course of PSG in recent months. For example, how not to mention the tumultuous relationship between Kylian Mbappé and Neymar? If the PSG has played a lot and communicated on an alleged friendship between the two men in the past, the many messages sent by the former Monegasque to the Parisian number 10 and the controversial likes of the latter have largely called into question this declared complicity and sometimes observable on Ligue 1 lawns. From August 2022, The Parisian hinted that the Bondynois had asked for the departure of the Brazilian… Tired of the gaps of his teammate, often injured, and ready to do anything to take on the role of boss in the French capital, the French international (67 caps, 38 goals) had to also manage, at the same time, the arrival of Messi, in a way strengthening the position of Neymar.
At the same time, the famous penalty gate at the end of the 2nd day of Ligue 1 against Montpellier (5-2) only reinforced the disenchantment between the two men. After the meeting, Neymar did not hesitate to like two tweets from fan accounts, which criticized, among others, Kylian Mbappé. Frustrated and dissatisfied, the 2018 world champion replied during the international break in September after the success of the Blues against Austria. “I play differently. I am asked other things here in relation to my club. I have a lot more freedom here. The coach knows that there is a number 9 like Oliv’ who occupies the defenses and I can walk around and go into space. In Paris, it’s different, there isn’t that. I’m asked to do the pivot, it’s different”. A message directly addressed to Lionel Messi and the star of Canarinha, who preferred to kick into touch. A palpable tension in front of the cameras, also visible on the ground.
A resounding failure, the beginning of a new era?
Hands on hips, heads down, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé have (too) often let their anger be heard. From the complicity between the two former FC Barcelona stars – illustrated by excessive exchanges on the field – to the call to order of the 24-year-old Frenchman after the first leg lost against Bayern Munich, urging his teammates to “eat well, sleep well”the MNM gradually crumbled. Sign of annoyance, accumulated frustration, flouted status, the three men are today at a crossroads and the Lionel Messi affair has only reinforced this observed divide. Suspended by PSG after his promotional trip to Saudi Arabia, the Argentinian international has unwittingly revived an open wound. That of a conflicting relationship. That of a complicity ultimately never found. Collateral victim of this affair, Neymar – taken to task by the Parisian supporters – thus did not find better than to pass his nerves on… Kylian Mbappé.
By liking a video from the Ofuiclear account in which the author of the video uploads the Bondynois: “This PSG team is the worst in recent years. For what ? Because they renewed their prince (Mbappé, editor’s note) for an extraordinary amount. The same prince who caused the Champions League elimination, who had an easy pass for Neymar but made a pass to the keeper against Bayern. He thinks he’s God now.”the Seleção star only strengthened the split. And what about KM7, usually so prolific but brilliant, today, with its deafening silence in the face of the Pulga situation? Announced as the standard bearer of a conquering, insatiable PSG ready to reach the heights, the MNM finally collapsed like a sandcastle. A new affront for the Parisian management, the end of another dream and a failure which could then lead to a new era in the French capital. At a time when Lionel Messi is getting closer and closer to a return to Catalonia, PSG seems willing to do without the services of Neymar… A synopsis certainly beneficial to Kylian Mbappé but revealing of a fragile institution, unable to unite and overwhelmed by events.