Neymar’s recent comments on his best footballing memory were not meant to disrespect Paris Saint-Germain, his father has stated.
The winger has been linked with a potential move away from PSG this summer, with former club Barcelona touted as a possible destination.
The Brazil international found himself at the centre of controversy after comments made on Saturday, in which he claimed that Barcelona’s 6-1 win over his current club in the Champions League in 2017 is his most cherished career highlight.
“There are two moments: our victory at the Olympic Games with Brazil (in 2016) and when we won against Paris with Barcelona,” he told L’Equipe.
“What we felt when we scored the sixth goal was incredible, it was completely crazy, we were all crazy. I think it's the best memory for us all.”
PSG fans did not take too kindly to the forward speaking so fondly of the result, but the forward's father has now stated that the player meant no disrespect to his employers.
“Attributing this spontaneous and honest response to a provocation to his current club is a malicious attitude whose sole purpose is to create a controversy where there is not any,” said Neymar Santos Sr. in a post on Instagram.
“Many journalists and fans around the world consider this meeting to be one of the most memorable of the player's career.
“My son did not intend any disrespect to PSG or the athletes who played that match in 2017, some of them are now his club-mates.
“From the end of that game to today, he always remembers this match as one of the most important of his career.”
The 27-year-old is currently the subject of the most high-profile transfer rumours of the summer window, with Real Madrid and former club Barcelona both reportedly interested in making an approach.
His comments to L’Equipe have only added fuel to the fire, but his father is adamant that controversy is being cultivated.
“Remembering a milestone in your career cannot be considered disrespect," he said.
“My son is a PSG athlete, but he cannot just ignore his story, one which allowed him to reach the French club.”