The uncle of Alvaro Gonzalez has alleged that the defender called Neymar an “idiot” after being taunted about his wages, while his agent has claimed that “the damage is done” after the Paris star accused Gonzalez of racial abuse.
Neymar, who reportedly earns around $773,000 a week as the world’s most expensive footballer, has made up his claims of racism against Gonzalez in the aftermath of being sent off for punching him in the back of the head, according to Manuel Soberon.
Gonzalez’s relative revealed that the Marseille defender had called Neymar a “bobo” – a Spanish word meaning “idiot” – after the Brazil forward bragged about the gulf between their salaries during his side’s bad-tempered 1-0 defeat in Paris.
“Now Neymar is trying to play it down but the damage is done,” he told Mundo Deportivo.
“Neymar constantly insulted him during the match. He’s a bit of a hypocrite. Alvaro’s best friend at Espanyol was [Felipe] Caicedo, a black player.”
Neymar declared after the match that his “only regret” was “not hitting this idiot in the face” over the alleged racial abuse, which Gonzalez’s agent, Jose Rodri, said had led to grim threats against his client’s life on social media.
“He is sad,” he told Spanish radio station El Transistor. “He has never had a problem with anyone. It’s not pleasant that [people] send you a million tweets with accusations and death threats, pictures of him, his car and so on.
“It’s going beyond the limits and we must stop it. For me, it is punishable. Alvaro has [acted] flawlessly throughout his years as a professional. In no case did he utter racist expressions against Neymar.”
Soberon said he did not know whether Gonzalez would take action against Neymar, but Rodri encouraged the French Football Federation to enforce sanctions and suggested that a complaint could be lodged by the Spaniard.
“Alvaro categorically denies any kind of racist insult,” he insisted. “There have even been homophobic and pejorative expressions against him.
“We reserve the right to activate the appropriate mechanisms to preserve Alvaro’s honor.”
The second straight defeat of Paris’s season featured 14 yellow cards and five dismissals in an incendiary encounter at the Parc des Princes, including Neymar’s punishment following a 99th-minute video review of the altercation by the referee.
Posting a photo on Twitter of the victorious Marseille team preparing to board a plane, Alvarez said: “There is no place for racism.
“A clean career and with many team-mates and friends on a day to day basis. Sometimes you have to learn how to lose and accept it on the field.”
Neymar tweeted afterwards: “I’d like to them to show the image of the racist who called me a ‘monkey son of a b*tch. I’d really like that.”
In a more considered later statement that was backed by his club, he admitted he had “revolted” because he “could not leave without doing something” and felt that he had received no support from the match officials.
“I am black, son of black, grandson and great-grandson of black also,” he said. “I am proud and do not see myself as different from anyone.
“An action led to a reaction and got where it did. I accept my punishment because I should have followed the path of clean football. I hope, on the other hand, that the offender will also be punished.
“Racism exists. It exists, but we have to stop it. No more. Enough. I still have the privilege of keeping my head up today but we all need to reflect that not all black and white people are in the same condition.
“The damage from the confrontation can be disastrous to both sides. Whether you are black or white, I don’t want to and we shouldn’t mix subjects. Skin color, we don’t choose. Before God, we are all equal.
“We will meet again and it will be my way: playing football. Stay in peace. You know what you said… I know what I did. More love to the world.”
Paris boss Thomas Tuchel said he had not heard any insults on the pitch. His Marseille counterpart, Andre Villas Boas, condemned racism and said he would look into the incident, which he did not consider to have featured a racist slur.