For the fourth consecutive time, Neymar suffered an injury in February, which is added to the 10 he has had since joining PSG in 2017
A few hours after it was known that Neymar will be away from the pitch for a month due to his tenth injury since he arrived at Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, the club has begun to air its discontent with the way of life of the Brazilian star for the that paid 222 million euros.
The last injury, in the left adductor, occurred last Wednesday in a cup game against Caen, second division, just three days after missing the “classic” of French football against Olympique de Marseille due to gastroenteritis after celebrating his 29th birthday.
The player left the field of play last Wednesday after receiving a hard tackle, but the injury is muscular and does not seem to be directly related to the blow received, according to the specialists quoted by French media.
The sports diary “L’Équipe“reveals today that several members of the club estimate that the repeated injuries of the player, who has missed 64 games of the almost 170 that he could have played in three and a half seasons, are unhappy with the player’s behavior off the pitch.
Lack of sleep, inadequate nutrition and poor hydration, they consider, are not in line with what a high-level athlete needs, while comparing his lifestyle with that of other stars, such as the Argentine Lionel Messi and the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo.
Injuries are common at this point in the season and, in particular, injuries. It is the second time that he has suffered from the adductor in a few months, after missing four games last October due to the same problem.
His birthday celebrations have already become an event and the footballer himself confessed a few days ago that the party is part of his life.
“Who doesn’t like to party? (…) If I focus one hundred percent on football, I will end up exploding. The party is the opportunity to relax, to enjoy. It is something I will never give up,” he said. to TF1 television at the end of January.
For the physiologist Jean-Bernard Fabre, the relationship between the player’s way of life and his repeated injuries is evident. “When it happens to you once, you may think it is bad luck, but it happens every year,” he assures the newspaper “Le Parisien”.
The specialist considers that the gastroenteritis of the past weekend may have to do with the celebration of his birthday: “It may be that he drank some alcohol and that the lack of sleep can influence his muscle motor and tendons. Consequently, it is in conditions that favor this kind of thing. “
Fabre also believes that over time the fragility will increase: “The period in which it is ‘indestructible’ has already passed. With age you pay for all the gaps in preparation and recovery. There comes a day when you way of life ends up taking its toll on you “.
The new injury, and the doubts it has generated in the club, occur when the negotiations for the extension of his contract, which ends in June 2022, seemed well on track.
The debate about his way of life is superimposed on that opened by the footballer himself this Thursday, as soon as the extent of his injury was known, when he considered himself a victim of the harshness of French football.
“Sometimes I feel uncomfortable because of my style of play, because I dribble and end up getting beaten constantly. I don’t know if the problem is me or what I do on the field,” he said on Instagram.
Just after the game in which he was injured, Caen coach Pascal Dupraz accused him of provoking rivals and pretending a lot on the pitch: “I’m not going to cry, I leave that to Neymar.”
The father of the Brazilian star responded harshly: “Of course you have to cry, because there are coaches like you, referees of this level, negligent and silent leagues.”
In the midst of all that noise, PSG will play on Tuesday against Camp Nou without its most decisive player in recent months, something that already seems a habit.
Since his arrival in Paris, he has only played three Champions League knockout matches out of six possible. Last season against Borussia Dortmund, it was the only time they played both and also the only time that PSG made it through that round, thanks in large part to the Brazilian.
Against Barcelona the first leg will be lost for sure and it will be a serious doubt for the return, scheduled for March 10. Neymar will be resting for two weeks, before starting to exercise in the third and, if all goes well, return to the group in the fourth.
In the best of cases, he could return for the return against Barça, but without competition rhythm, which forces PSG to face the tie without counting much on its star, as it already did in 2018 against Real Madrid and in 2019 against Manchester United.
On those two occasions, the fault was the fifth metatarsal, a fortuitous injury unrelated to his way of life. But now, in Paris, doubts are beginning to arise.