Saturday, 20 Apr 2024

Neymar’s Lack of Effort in Learning French Criticized by World Cup Winner

neymar idiomas

After Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-0 home defeat to Stade de Reims in the French Championship, former French defender Frank Leboeuf, who won the 1998 World Cup with his national team, criticized Neymar and Di María, PSG’s forwards, for not speaking the French language.

Lack of Respect for the Country

In an interview with ESPN, Leboeuf expressed his disappointment with the fact that the two players do not even attempt to speak the language of the country they play in. Neymar has been with PSG since 2017, while Di María has been playing in France since 2015.

When asked if it was important for Neymar to speak French, the World Cup winner replied, “Yes, it bothers me. I remember when I came to England, my captain, Dennis Wise, said that in an English dressing room, you should speak English. We had many Italians who started speaking in Italian, and he said, ‘Stop.'”

Leboeuf believes that Neymar speaking French would demonstrate respect for the people he has met in France and for the country itself. “It’s a matter of respecting the country and the people you know. You are in their country, you have to accept it and learn to speak another language,” he explained.

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Strangeness and Alluding to Past Brazilians

Furthermore, Leboeuf found it strange that the Brazilian number 10 treats the French language in such a manner. “It’s strange because most Brazilians who played for Paris Saint-Germain started speaking French within two or three months, like Raí, Valdo, and some others, and Neymar is the first person who hasn’t even tried,” he criticized.

Despite criticizing Neymar, Leboeuf did not spare Argentinean Di María. “But Di María as well. He has been in France for five years, and you can ask him a question in French, but he responds in Spanish,” revealed the former French player.

Frank Leboeuf and Neymar

In conclusion, Leboeuf reiterated that he sees the players’ lack of effort to learn the language of the country they play in as disrespectful. “I think it’s abnormal, it’s a little scandal, and it’s disrespectful to the French citizens and the French language,” he concluded.


Q: How long has Neymar been at Paris Saint-Germain?
A: Neymar has been with PSG since 2017.

Q: How long has Di María been playing in France?
A: Di María has been playing in France since 2015.

Q: Have other Brazilian players at PSG learned French?
A: Yes, many Brazilian players, such as Raí and Valdo, learned French within a few months of joining PSG.

Q: What did Dennis Wise say to Leboeuf in the English dressing room?
A: Dennis Wise told Leboeuf that in an English dressing room, English should be spoken.


The criticism from Frank Leboeuf highlights the importance of players respecting the culture and language of the country they play in. Learning the language not only shows respect but also fosters better communication and integration within the team and the local community. Neymar and Di María’s lack of effort to learn French has raised eyebrows and drawn criticism, especially considering the examples set by previous Brazilian players at PSG. As professional athletes, they have the opportunity and responsibility to represent their club and embrace the culture of the country they call home. By doing so, they can enhance their connection with fans and develop a deeper understanding of their surroundings.

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