There are fears that Neymar’s second season in France might be following a similar pattern to his first.
Last year he broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot and missed the Champions League round of 16 second leg, helpless to prevent PSG going out to Real Madrid.
This year the same part of his right foot has sidelined him. There is no official confirmation of another fracture but the player’s coach Thomas Tuchel has admitted it will be ‘very difficult for him to reach the first leg against Manchester United next month’ and Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar is in Paris leading to speculation the injury could be lengthy enough to effect national team planning – there’s a Copa America in June after all.
The big idea when he signed for PSG was to win them their first Champions League then win himself a Balon d’Or and then a move to Real Madrid or the Premier League but it’s a frustrated grand plan at the moment. Can he move away before being a success? And if not can he bear to stay?
The weekend story in Spain’s Diario AS that Barcelona directors showed Ajax kid Frenkie de Jong phone text messages from Neymar complaining about Ligue 1 to help persuade him to come to them and not go to PSG will have hit a nerve in the Neymar camp. They have always denied – as the story claimed – that Neymar has sent club staff messages about how unhappy he is in France.
AS reported that Neymar had sent a ‘multitude of messages’ to Barcelona club staff complaining about the lack of competition in the French league, the physical nature of the football, and the weather.