Brazil international and Paris Saint-Germain player Neymar has blamed his club for delaying his return following a rib injury. Neymar believes if he had played sooner his physical condition would have improved.
The 28-year-old made his debut return after a four-match absence during PSG’s 2-1 Champions League round of 16 lost to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday. The Brazilian was able to find the back of the net in the 75th minute but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as Dortmund youngster Haland scored two goals in the 69th and 77th minute.
Believing that more goals should have come, PSG player Neymar has said his time away from the pitch has hindered his performance in a drastic way. The forward also blamed his club for keeping him out of the competition.
“It was not how I imagined to get here. I didn’t play in the last [four] games. It was a PSG decision, by club doctors,” Neymar said after the match.
”Unfortunately I had to accept that. I did not like what they proposed to me, but the club is in charge, unfortunately. But that ends up being bad for me and my teammates. I was injured, I had a crack in my rib, but it was nothing to stop me from playing. I was prepared to play against Lyon [on Feb. 9] but they postponed my return. Then they postponed it again and then they postponed it again.”
Neymar has a history of being missing in action for PSG due to injury. During his first two campaigns for the club, the forward was out due to injury which was received with some criticism. Neymar joined PSG for a world record €222milliom from Barcelona back in 2017 and has a habit of getting injured in the middle of the season.
“I understand the fear, because I was injured in the last two years, I respect it, but it can’t be like that,” Neymar added. “It was very difficult for me to play a game like that, intense. I think that if I was in better physical condition, I would certainly have a much better game.”
PSG sporting director Leonardo and Neymar have been in a bit of a tug-of-war with tensions rising mostly due to his widely publicized all-white lavish birthday party that he held while out with a rib injury. In a post-match interview manager Thomas Tuchel said he does not regret his teams line up despite losing out to his former club.
“No regrets. It seems very easy to be a coach when you are not one,” Tuchel said.
”I have to make decisions and I did that — now I will take responsibility for it. Nobody can know how a different system would have worked out. No regrets at all. You can see [Dortmund] have played seven matches fewer than we have since January. They also had an extra day to recover.”
The second leg clash for the Champions League race between both clubs will take place in three weeks.