Presnel Kimpembe says a lack of humility from Borussia Dortmund was what fuelled him and his PSG teammates to mimic Erling Braut Haaland’s celebration.
Following his opening goal in the 2-0 win, Brazilian star Neymar copied Haaland’s ‘meditation’ celebration in front of the Dortmund bench, while the entire PSG squad did the same on the pitch at the end of the game and in the dressing room afterwards.
Why did PSG mock Haaland? Five things to know…
- Haaland scored twice as Dortmund beat PSG 2-1 during their UCL round-of-16 first leg in February.
- The Norwegian showed off his trademark ‘meditation’ celebration after scoring.
- During the build-up to the second leg, a picture of Haaland emerged on social media purportedly claiming Paris is “my city”.
- Neymar mocked Haaland by imitating his celebration after scoring in PSG’s second-leg win, while his teammates did the same on the pitch and in the dressing room.
- However, a report in the Daily Mail suggests Haaland’s social media post was faked.
Ahead of the match, Haaland purportedly uploaded a picture to Snapchat in response to a PSG fan, describing Paris as “my city”.
And this, along with some more social media antics, clearly left the PSG squad seeing red, according to centre-back Kimpembe.
“They are great players but now I will say they lost their humility,” he said after the match.
“Because after their victory at home [in the first leg] they put out a lot of tweets, a lot of Instagrams, a lot of words, a lot of this and that.
“Whether it’s their sporting director, the players, the club’s official Instagram account… that’s it.
“We’ve all seen it. We kept it in a corner of our heads and I think it boosted us all.
“It allowed us to have this little rage in a corner of our heads and [on Wednesday night] we took advantage of that.”
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
Reaction: PSG mock Haaland celebration
PSG’s mocking of Haaland arguably attracted more attention than their win over Dortmund — sealing a 3-2 aggregate victory and progression to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2015/16.
A number of fans, pundits and ex-players, including Gary Lineker and Erling’s father, Alf-Inge, took to social media to defend Haaland — criticising PSG for lacking class toward a 19-year-old.
— Alfie Haaland (@alfiehaaland) March 12, 2020
Lack of class. He’s 19 for crying out loud. https://t.co/mCwAwRmkpL
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 12, 2020
Bit pathetic this. Haaland is just 19-years-old and he’s living rent free in grown men heads. https://t.co/vwLMMZLbYu
— Eder Sarabia como forma de vida (@ElMessista10) March 11, 2020
If I was Haaland, I’d love this. Yes his team went out but he’s 19 and living rent free in these players minds, including the two most expensive players of all time.
Pretty weird this from PSG 😂 pic.twitter.com/CaG7EOlLI6
— Ryan (@bernardooooV3) March 11, 2020
Was Haaland’s post fake?
Despite seeing his side crash out of the Champions League, Haaland might just end up having the last laugh over PSG in this social media war.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, the social media post wasn’t taken from Haaland’s Snapchat at all and was, in fact, fake. If true, this would leave the PSG squad — and Neymar especially — feeling pretty red-faced.
In the game itself, Haaland had something of an off night, having just 23 touches of the ball — the lowest of any starting outfield player — and failing to register a single shot throughout.
The Norway international had strong words after the game when describing his experience of playing a match behind closed doors.
“It’s s***, it’s as easy as that,” Haaland said. “I need them, to say it easy.”
"It's s**t. I need them."
Erling Haaland discusses playing in front of an empty stadium.pic.twitter.com/Dj50d9VQJI
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 12, 2020