There would have been a large intake of breath from South America when Neymar went off injured yesterday. Now they’ll be lots of shouty voices after hearing what Dimitri Payet said during the match.
Brazil fans would have been reaching for the national anthem, shirt with Neymar’s name on the back of it and tissues on Sunday night when during PSG vs Marseille the world’s most expensive footballer had to be stretchered off the pitch with an injury.
— Goal (@goal) February 25, 2018
The hopes of a nation are once again on his shoulders as we head towards the World Cup, four years on from the travesty that they went through in Brazil when Neymar was injured during the quarter final and then Germany smashed them in the semi.
On Sunday the former Barca man was stretchered off and initial thoughts were he could miss this summer’s tournament in Russia, although that now seems unlikely.
The Brazilian seemed to be targeted by Marseille on Sunday night with numerous fouls and French radio station RMC, via the Mirror, reported that Payet told referee Benoit Bastien, “Tell Neymar to calm down or we are going to take care of him.”
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 25, 2018
The Parisien’s captain Thiago Silva also claimed that the opposition forward wanted to hurt his teammate, saying, “It’s a shame. Payet said to the referee that he wanted to hurt. That is not football.”
Left back, and former Aston Villa player, Jordan Amavi even confirmed that the 26 year old’s perceived diving during the match had wound up PSG’s opponents, saying, “We play normally but he looks for the foul.
“That is what I see on the pitch – he waits for us to close him down and he lets the ball go at the last moment. So what does he expect? I think he looks for a bit. Everyone knows he has talent but he throws himself a bit easily.”
It was initially feared that the former Santos forward had broken his ankle and would be out for the rest of the season and potentially the summer but scans suggest that it’s likely to be around a three week lay off.
That means that the Ligue 1 leaders will have to go into the second leg of their Champions League tie with Real Madrid, where they trail 3-1, without their best player.