Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and the other Paris Saint-Germain superstars who made the trip to watch the Milwaukee Bucks face the Charlotte Hornets in Paris have been slammed by former France international Willy Sagnol.
The NBA visited the City of Lights for the first time on Friday, with the Bucks claiming a 116-103 victory over their rivals at the AccorHotels Arena.
Among the crowd for the match were a number of PSG stars, including Neymar, Mbappe, Marco Verratti, Mauro Icardi and Thiago Silva.
All are expected to feature in Sunday’s Ligue 1 encounter against Lille, but Sagnol has fired claims of unprofessionalism at these players for their late-night appearance at the basketball.
“The first thing that a top athlete must do is sleep,” the 2000-01 Champions League winner told RMC. “They have the right to do anything but it’s been going on for seven years, when you’ve got guys like Verratti who can only play for an hour.
“We had the same debate last year. I don’t want to lock them up. I just want them to say that at some point: ‘Football is my work, my tool is my body. And when I ask it to do certain things, I’m not superhuman.’”
PSG lead Ligue 1 by six points with a game in hand over Marseille in second, but their chief target is progress in the Champions League, where they will face Borussia Dortmund in the last 16.
In each of the last three seasons, the Parisians have fallen at that hurdle and should Thomas Tuchel’s side stumble once again at that juncture they will find themselves under scrutiny for outings such as Friday’s.
Sagnol’s criticism, meanwhile, comes off the back of a special report released in L’Equipe on Sunday that shows PSG have the worst record for muscular injuries in the whole of Ligue 1 – a symptom of insufficient sleep, the publications experts explain.
After Sunday’s trip to Lille, they face a trip to the opposite end of France for a Coupe de France match against minnow Pau, a fixture in which many top stars are liable to be excused from.