The Brazilian star’s boss spoke of his admiration of his striker’s commitment as controversy raged over actions after French cup final
Neymar has received the backing of Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel after his reaction to Saturday’s Coupe de France final loss continued to overshadow the build-up to Tuesday’s Ligue 1 outing against Montpellier.
The Brazil superstar completed 120 minutes on his first start since suffering a foot injury in January, setting up Dani Alves’ spectacular opener against Rennes, scoring the second and netting in the penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw.
Christopher Nkunku missed from the spot to hand Rennes their first major honour since 1971 and Neymar’s confrontation with a supporter when PSG went up the Stade de France steps to collect their runners-up medals stole post-match headlines.
He appeared to bat a phone away from the fan, who was filming the PSG team, before a verbal exchange.
Neymar apologised for the incident in an Instagram post saying: “Did I act wrong? Yes, but no one can remain indifferent.”
RMC reported the world’s most expensive player could face an eight-game suspension from the French Football Federation, but Tuchel was bullish in support of his man.
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“I know what Ney meant, it’s not something we have to talk about outside, only inside,” he said on Monday.
“There are players who like to win and players who hate to lose. Everyone loves to win but it takes more to hate to lose.
“Neymar played 120 minutes, I was surprised at his performance. He scored, made a decisive pass and scored the fifth penalty. Almost all our dangerous actions were by him.”
A season that promised much will end with PSG as Ligue 1 champions but amid fresh reports of dressing-room discontent following a chastening Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Manchester United.
The club’s usual domestic cup mastery also deserted them in Tuchel’s first campaign at the helm.
“At PSG we have the goal of winning everything, including the Champions League,” said the former Borussia Dortmund boss.
“But you have to be careful, a team like Juventus have not won it for  years.
“We need to talk in the dressing room to grow and improve. But we have to do it between us. We can talk and have different opinions, but we have to do it inside [the dressing room].”
Thiago Silva sat out the Coupe de France final through injury and will be absent once more for the trip to the Stade de la Mosson.