February 2, 2020 / 8:28 AM / a month ago

Neymar's birthday an unwelcome distraction for PSG coach Tuchel

Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain v Montpellier - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - February 1, 2020 Paris St Germain's Neymar REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - Neymar will celebrate his birthday in a Paris club on Sunday, a ‘distraction’ two days ahead of a Ligue 1 trip to Nantes, according to Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel.

French sports daily L’Equipe reported that the event would take place in a western Paris club and that the PSG players and a few members of the staff had been invited by the Brazilian, who turns 28 on Wednesday.

“The substitution of Kylian or Ney’s birthday are distractions, it gives the impression that we are not serious,” Tuchel was quoted as saying by L’Equipe on Sunday.

On Saturday, France striker Kylian Mbappe showed his frustration when he was replaced in the 70th minute of a 5-0 win against nine-man Montpellier.

On Neymar’s birthday, Tuchel added: “It gives the impression that we are not 100% focused and professional.

“But things are not either black or white. They become important when we talk about them a lot.”

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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