It’s already the end of a season that should have been special for Neymar, mainly because it could have allowed him to win the World Cup with Brazil, an absolute dream and the quest of a lifetime. A little less than three months after his injury against Serbia in his first match in the tournament, the Parisian number 10 suffered a new twist in his right ankle against Lille after a duel with Benjamin André. This will be the last image of the striker on the pitch for several months, as announced by the capital club in a press release published on Monday: “ Neymar has had several bouts of right ankle instability in recent years. Following his last sprain suffered on February 19, the medical staff of Paris-Saint-Germain recommended a ligament repair operation in order to avoid a major risk of recurrence. All of the experts consulted confirmed this need. This surgery will be performed in the coming days at Aspetar Hospital in Doha. A period of three to four months is expected before his return to collective training. » A never-ending story, unfortunately.
Medical statement. @Aspetar
— Paris Saint Germain (@PSG_inside) March 6, 2023
It would be too simple to write that this is good news for PSG less than 48 hours from a decisive match in the Champions League against Bayern, even if the Brazilian had not shone in the first leg. It is perhaps one less headache for Christophe Galtier, who will not be forced to align the three stars together, which could allow Paris to gain balance and it is a luxury in this kind of meeting. . Neymar, however, remains Neymar, with his great qualities and his faults, and his first part of the season (15 goals and 12 assists in 20 appearances in the Parisian jersey) had come to remind us that he still knew how to be brilliant. He has often been so since his arrival in France in August 2017 (118 achievements and 77 offerings in 173 games with Paris), but rarely in the moments that really matter. In just over five years, he has only played 57% of matches, notably missing 5 of C1’s 18 knockout matches. There are of course the memories of his Final 8 brilliant until the final in 2020 or his performance at the Allianz Arena against Bayern the following spring, but it is far too little for a transfer to 222 million euros and a player of his talent.
A failure for everyone
Neymar had left Barcelona for Paris in order to be the absolute star of a club, the head of the gondola of an ambitious project. He was to be the one who was going to take PSG one step further, the one who was going to allow the conquest of the Champions League. This Saturday evening, he appeared on crutches on the lawn of a Parc des Princes celebrating his true king, Kylian Mbappé, not far from Lionel Messi, of whom he was in the shadow at Barça. Two world champions, which he is not and may never be. More than a five-year term after a union celebrated with great fanfare, the marriage between Neymar and PSG is a failure for everyone. After the first idyllic months, there were the first physical glitches, clumsy media outings from the Brazilian and an inevitable disenchantment with the public. Over this period, the Parisian star suffered nearly 30 injuries, minor and major, including several to the ankle. According to information from The Team, the medical examination before his signature had revealed a right foot in poor condition and the need for an immediate operation. An option discarded because of the challenges represented by its recruitment.
Neymar has not always been correct with PSG, his employer, nor very professional, and that’s a problem when you have big ambitions, as Mbappé likes to remind you, subtly or not. But what is going on in the head of a man whose destiny since childhood is to be the successor of Pelé and the hero of a nation? Today, the feeling ofa huge mess dominates everything else, and there is this impression that the king sport will have brought him more misfortune than happiness, apart from all the considerations around money. “Football is not just about love », he philosophized last month before the first leg against Bayern. He probably knows what he’s talking about. And now ? He, like the club, made the choice of reason, with the hope of preventing relapses and seeing the player be able to continue (and finish) his strange career without this sword of Damocles over his head. It will be here or elsewhere, but the fact ofBeing tied to PSG for another four years diminishes the possibilities and leaves the player in a strong position. In 2027, the date of the end of his contract, Neymar will have 35 years.
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