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Paris Saint-Germain teammates Neymar and Gianluigi Donnarumma were involved in a heated verbal exchange and came ‘close to blows’ before they were separated in the dressing room, according to stunning reports.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men made a sensational exit from the Champions League on Wednesday night, despite leading 1-0 on aggregate going into the second-leg tie.
Madrid target Kylian Mbappe, who grabbed the injury-time winner in the first leg, opened the scoring for PSG in the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, Carlo Ancelotti’s men rallied back through Karim Benzema, whose second-half hat-trick ensured Madrid a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
According to Marca, Neymar and Donnarumma had a ‘strong discussion’ in the dressing room after PSG’s humiliating exit from the Champions League.
The Spanish newspaper added that the two PSG stars almost came ‘close to blows,’ but a physical altercation was avoided after the pair were ‘separated.’
Neymar, 30, allegedly ‘reproached’ 23-year-old PSG shot-stopper Donnarumma over his mistake in Benzema’s crucial equaliser.
However, Marca claims that Donnarumma ‘did not shut up’ and ‘reminded’ the Brazilian winger of his mistake in losing the ball for Madrid’s second of the night.
It has been suggested that those who were in the locker room intervened at the right time to ‘prevent things from escalating.’
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Leonardo also showed ‘aggressive behaviour’ after they made an unannounced visit to the referees’ locker room.
“The president and the technical director of PSG showed aggressive behaviour and tried to enter the referees’ locker room,” reads the referee’s report.
“When the referee asked them to leave, they blocked the door and the president deliberately hit the flag of one of the assistants, breaking it.”
Following PSG’s defeat to Madrid, Leonardo reiterated that his side’s objective is to win the Champions League and the Ligue 1 club needs to band together.
“We shouldn’t throw everything in the bin,” he told RMC Sport.
“We shouldn’t start from scratch after every loss. The objective is to win the Champions League, and until half-time we were fine.
“We have to look to improve this team and maintain morale to play in Ligue 1 and to finish the season well. We should stay together.
“Pochettino is still part of the project for this season. It’s not the time to think about that.”