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Paqueta hits back at Neymar critics over claims showed up drunk

Accusations against Neymar over his behaviour show “a total lack of respect” to the PSG star, according to Brazil teammate Lucas Paqueta.

Lucas Paqueta has defended Neymar against “false” accusations that the Brazil star turned up to Paris Saint-Germain training sessions drunk, describing them as “a lie”.

The pair, rivals in Ligue 1 and teammates with the Selecao, are in camp ahead of their final Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Bolivia.

Neymar has arrived on the back of a rough personal period at Parc des Princes, having been booed alongside Lionel Messi following the club’s Champions League exit.

Reports from RMC Sport suggested the forward had breached discipline at the club by showing up to training in a state of intoxication.

But speaking in a pre-match press conference, Lyon attacking midfielder Paqueta has fired back at such claims, hailing his fellow Selecao star as a “great professional”.

“It’s a total lack of respect to say or transmit false information,” he stated. “Obviously, [Neymar] didn’t comment on that. So I believe it’s a lie.

“People talk too much, and it affects us a little in a way. It isn’t easy to filter all that. You can’t believe what people say. I believe Neymar is a great professional.

“Neymar, above all, is a great person, a great professional, who has an incredible talent, without a doubt is our best player in the Brazilian team.

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“Having him with us is a privilege, mainly me. When I have Neymar on my side, I feel much more robust, as do all my teammates.

“I think he also feels the same. So we motivate each other more and hug each other more, making us stronger.”

So, what’s next for Brazil?

Brazil will face Chile in the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualification on Friday.

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