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The Paris Saint-Germain captain claims that Payet and his teammates aimed to hurt Neymar in the lead-up to the seemingly innocuous exchange that ultimately sent the megastar off the field on the stretcher.
His basis? Silva says Payet told the referee as much:
“It’s a shame. Payet said to the referee that he wanted to hurt. That is not football.”
French radio station RMC claimed Payet told referee Benoit Bastien: “Tell Neymar to calm down or we are going to take care of him.”
Now Neymar’s injury came without contact — typically worse for the severity of the injury — and after he snuck his studs onto Bouna Sarr’s leg, but there’s no question the Brazilian was being hunted (There’s embellishment in the below video, but also clear tactical fouling).
PSG plays Marseille again on Wednesday in the French Cup before a league match at Troyes and a first leg with Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.