The first thing you need to know about the six-day underground Christmas disco that Neymar is allegedly hosting for 500 people in the soundproofed annexe of a mansion outside Rio de Janeiro is that Neymar denies its very existence.

Nevertheless, CNN Brasil has reported that in recent days an unusually high number of cars have been seen pulling up outside Neymar’s home in the small beach town of Mangaratiba. Local hotels have been registering a surge in bookings, despite rising coronavirus cases in the region. A source for the municipal government has described the alleged gathering as “a sanitary disrespect”. And a representative for a Brazilian folk band called Vou Pro Sereno has confirmed that they have been booked to play an underground Christmas disco that Neymar – and we really can’t stress this part enough – insists is not actually taking place.

Look: who knows if any of this is true? The guests certainly, although seeing as Neymar has allegedly banned the attendees of his alleged six-day underground Christmas disco from bringing their mobile phones, it is unlikely we will ever find out for sure. For our purposes, at any rate, the existence or otherwise of the Neymar six-day underground Christmas disco is largely irrelevant. The aim is to offer just the briefest glimpse of the confusion – the noise, the confusion, the real scandal, the fake scandal, the chaos – that awaits Mauricio Pochettino as the new manager of Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG’s last manager was Thomas Tuchel, a fine coach who nonetheless struggled with the internal currents at the club. Just before Christmas he gave an interview to German television in which he said he felt like “more of a sports politician or sports minister” than a football coach. “At a club like PSG, there are many influences,” he said, a point the club’s Qatari owners neatly proved a few days later by sacking him. Continue reading

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