"It is a small message for Icardi and Neymar" - Jerome Rothen blasts "unprofessional" PSG stars and challenges duo to be able to "see their navel" after the holidays 

Jerome Rothen criticizes Neymar and Icardi for their lack of professionalism
Jerome Rothen criticizes Neymar and Icardi for their lack of professionalism

Former Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) winger Jerome Rothen has slammed Mauro Icardi and Neymar for their lack of professionalism. Challenging the forwards to be able to “see their navel” after the holidays, he asked the duo to be respectful towards the club, fans, and the country.

Neither Neymar nor Icardi have been able to live up to expectations since joining PSG. The Brazilian, who was roped in from Barcelona for a €222 million fee in 2017, has had a difficult time keeping himself fit and has often struggled to make an impact in crucial fixtures.

The Brazilian's record of 105 goals and 76 assists in 186 matches across all competitions is respectable, but he hasn’t yet impressed in the Champions League.

Icardi, who permanently joined PSG from Inter Milan for €60 million in 2020, has not done much to win his coach’s confidence and has been reduced to being a bench-warmer. He has only featured in 92 games for the French giants across competitions, scoring 38 times.

Neymar now has 74 international goals for Brazil ✅Pele has 77 international goals for Brazil ✅Neymar needs just 3 more to equal Pele's record 🇧🇷

Rothen, however, not only criticized the duo for their performances, he also slammed them for their unprofessionalism. Speaking to RMC Sport, he said:

“Quit playing stupid with us, frankly. Look at your navel for two seconds, if you can still do it, because for some, it's difficult after the holidays, they don't see it anymore. It's a small message for Icardi and for Neymar too. It shows their professionalism. It shows how they respect this club, the fans, the press, the French people.”

Rothen backed PSG to take strict action against players with a sub-par work ethic and treat them in the same manner they deal with underperforming coaches. He continued:

“Respect us for two seconds. You are under contract, ok, but it is not you who will decide whether you will stay or not. Because given the financial means of the Qatari owners, who are able to write cheques… They've already done that to some coaches saying, 'We're not happy anymore, you're leaving with your full salary.' That's certainly what they're going to do to some players who take themselves for stars when they are nothing at all.”

PSG could sell Neymar for the right price

PSG triggered Neymar’s €222 million release clause to get him on their books in 2017. His skillset was meant to help the Parisians bag the most important trophy in club football, the Champions League. Apart from the 2019-20 season, when PSG reached the final of the competition, Neymar has not yet delivered what the club had hoped for.

Neymar now has more career goals than the Brazilian Ronaldo. 🇧🇷

With Kylian Mbappe emerging as Paris Saint-Germain’s best player, the Brazil international’s stock has taken a significant hit. According to Goal, PSG are even open to selling him if a big offer comes along this summer. There are individuals within the club who feel that the forward has been on the decline ever since joining them in 2017 and also has a questionable attitude.

The player, who signed a new deal with the club last year, still has three years remaining on his contract. He is currently valued at €75 million by Transfermarkt.

Also Read: "Best passer in English football remains on the bench" - Gary Lineker slams Gareth Southgate's decision to not play England star against Germany on Twitter

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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