Blanc says Cavani’s behavior must improve

Photo credit: AFP.

Photo credit: AFP.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc criticized the behavior of striker Edinson Cavani on Tuesday, claiming the Uruguayan needed to improve his attitude off the pitch.

“Football is a team sport and you can’t just do what you want,” Blanc told reporters. “‘Edi’ is a generous guy and team player on the pitch, but as part of the group, he hasn’t done what he has to do.”

“He has to be aware that his behavior must be group-oriented. But he’s a guy I like a lot, who I’ve defended tooth and nail when he is regularly challenged (by the media) over his performances and positioning.”

Earlier this month, Blanc admitted a “behavioral problem” concerning Cavani was discussed during a team meeting at their training camp in Doha over the winter break.

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French sports daily L’Equipe reported that members of the squad were unhappy that the Uruguayan left on holidays two days before everyone else and seemed to be allowed to come and go as he wished.

The episode echoed back to his delayed return from South America in Jan. 2015, which saw him suspended for two matches. The problem then also concerned Ezequiel Lavezzi, who was also penalized at the time.

Cavani, 28, is said to be unhappy at being played out wide rather than his preferred central role with the French champions, faced with competition from Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who tops the Ligue 1 scoring charts with 17 goals this term.

Cavani has netted 13 goals in all competitions this season but hasn’t started in the league since PSG’s 5-1 rout of Lyon on Dec. 13. He is, however, tipped to be in the lineup for Wednesday’s League Cup semifinal against Toulouse.

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