'Neymar shouldn't even have to ask!' - Balotelli takes Brazilian's side in Cavani penalty drama

Sporting News

Mario Balotelli has defended "crack" Neymar for trying to impose himself on set pieces at new club Paris Saint-Germain.

During Sunday's win over Lyon, the €222 million summer signing and Edinson Cavani argued over set pieces, with both rowing over the penalty that the Uruguay striker subsequently failed to score.

Cavani also tussled with Dani Alves over the ball for a free kick and, although the full-back said he wanted to take it himself, he gave the ball to Neymar.

Cavani insists he has no problem with Neymar , while coach Unai Emery has told the players to sort penalties out together , but the argument has attracted a lot of attention beyond the team.

And Balotelli has taken to social media to share his view on the debate, although his exact stance wasn't immediately clear.

The Nice striker took a picture of the front page of French newspaper L'Equipe which featured the two stars and had typed over it: "[Neymar], you shouldn't even ask [to] shoot them."

Balotelli Instagram
Balotelli Instagram

The Italian could have been hitting out at the Brazilian and telling him that he should just let Cavani take free kicks and penalties.

MORE: Barcelona president Bartomeu criticises Neymar over lack of honesty | Cavani has 'no problem' with €222m PSG strike partner Neymar despite penalty spat | PSG star Mbappe must prove he has Real Madrid quality, says Morientes | PSG sign 'one of the best' FIFA players in the world

However, a subsequent post on Instagram Stories in which he called him a "crack" - aka, a top player - with a gold medal emoji suggested he thinks Neymar deserves to be the designated set piece taker and shouldn't have to ask for the privilege.

Away from the drama at Parc des Princes, former Man City and Liverpool striker Balotelli had a great weekend, scoring an emphatic winner in Nice's 1-0 victory over Rennes.

What to read next