Paris Saint-Germain face an anxious wait on the fitness of star man Neymar ahead of their Champions League showdown with Barcelona after the Brazilian was forced off injured during Wednesday’s Coupe de France clash with Caen.
Neymar lasted one hour of the match before being forced off holding his left abductor muscle after a challenge from Caen defender Steeve Yago.
PSG won the Round of 64 cup tie 1-0 thanks to a goal from Moise Kean, but all the headlines surrounded Neymar’s race to be fit for next week’s Champions League last 16 first leg against former club Barcelona.
“It’s difficult to know how bad the injury is right now. We’ll see [on Thursday]. It’s difficult to say anything about it at the moment. I need more information… It’s an adductor problem,”said concerned PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Should Neymar miss next Tuesday’s clash at the Nou Camp – or potentially even the return leg in Paris on March 10 – it would mark yet more injury misery for him with PSG in Europe.
After making a world record €222 million switch from Barcelona, the Brazilian star fractured a metatarsal bone and missed the last three months of his first season in Paris, including the Champions League last 16 second leg against Real Madrid, where the Spaniards completed a 5-2 aggregate win.
In January 2019 the star suffered a recurrence of that metatarsal injury and was forced to watch on as PSG were dumped out of the Champions League in a shock defeat by Manchester United.
The Brazilian did, however, manage to stay injury-free for the latter part of last season during PSG’s run to the final, where they were beaten by Bayern Munich.
Some fans claimed Neymar, 29, is seemingly ‘cursed’ – although others pointed to his apparent habit of getting injured regularly around this time of year, just before his sister, Rafaella Santos, celebrates her birthday on March 11.
There are 3 things certain in life DeathTaxes Neymar being injured for his sisters birthday
— Haz (@pubIad) February 10, 2021
Neymar always get injured every February ahead of his sister’s birthday in March 🥴
— ZEUS (@itzbasito) February 10, 2021
Aside from Neymar hoping to line up against the club he won the Champions League with in 2015, PSG’s tie with Barcelona has already been imbued with no shortage of intrigue.
The Catalan giants have accused the French club of being “disrespectful” over public comments made in their pursuit of Lionel Messi, who is heavily linked with a move to Paris once his current Barcelona deal expires at the end of the season.
Neymar, meanwhile, is said to have committed to a four-year contract extension which would keep him at PSG until 2026.