Neymar’s torturous start to the season continues. The Brazilian suffers from “adductor pain” and will have to observe a treatment period of a few days. Facing RB Leipzig this Tuesday evening, he will leave the spotlight to Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi. The continuity of a difficult year 2021 for a Neymar, with the sporting influence limited to PSG and the mind which, sometimes, falters. As she approaches her 30th birthday, the superstar is struggling to regain her splendor. But the player and his club want to turn the situation around as quickly as possible.
His sporting situation: a glimmer of hope
But where has the “real” Neymar gone, the one capable of scoring or delivering an assist in every match? The start of the 2021-2022 season of the Brazilian displays a statistical record far from his standards, with one goal, on penalty, and two assists in seven starts. It is weak, but it is only the continuation of a calendar year 2021 to be forgotten. Of the 43 matches played by PSG, Neymar was only present 24 times. For worrying figures: 8 goals, including 5 penalties, and 8 assists.
“He knows he has to do better and he’s going to do it. He works for, as he did against Uruguay, ”says one of his relatives. Faced with the selection of Edinson Cavani, on the night of Thursday to last Friday, Neymar scored and offered two assists. What to believe in a rebound before the appearance of these adductor pain.
His mental form: a precarious balance
Since his signing in Paris in the summer of 2017, Neymar has experienced everything on an emotional level. Happy to tackle a new challenge, he quickly changed his mood, especially because of his two serious injuries to the metatarsal of his right foot. To the point, in 2019, of reaching a point that he thought of no return. Ney then wondered why he had left Barcelona, this place where he felt so good, and did everything to return there.
Stayed in Paris by default, he picked up the slope thanks to a 2019-2020 season punctuated by a Champions League final. “He lives everything thoroughly, analyzes his entourage. He is very sincere and does not know how to hide the truth of his state of mind at the moment ”. Latest example: his surprising statements on Brazilian television when he questioned his “mental strength” to continue playing football for many years.
Superstar from a young age, Neymar has always needed to juggle the duties demanded by this status and the desires of a young man with disproportionate means. Like a Ronaldinho, the crack come from Santos tries to maintain this balance despite the criticisms and the dangers that accompany a private life sometimes out of step with his ambitions.
His future at PSG: he sweeps away doubts
The remarks made by Neymar on his future, in the extract of the DAZN documentary broadcast in Brazil, did not fail to surprise the leaders of the PSG. Hearing him talk about an untimely career end after 2022 wasn’t quite what they expected. Especially after the latter extended his contract with PSG for four more seasons, last May.
Leonardo the sporting director called him a few hours after the second Seleção match in Colombia (0-0), where the player did not really shine. He wanted to be reassuring, certifying that his words questioned his ability to plan on the 2026 World when he will be 34 years old. At no time did he want to question his engagement with Paris until the summer of 2025.
It remains to be seen whether the “mental strength” that could come to him lacking, and which he mentioned in the documentary, will not also catch up with him at PSG. Mauricio Pochettino dispels this hypothesis: “He is very strong mentally and his passion for football, he demonstrates it every day with us. “
His relationship with Brazil: I love you, neither do I
If the criticisms towards him on French soil annoy him, it is in Brazil that Neymar recently raised a rant. “I do not know what to do so that people respect me”, he launched in September after a new controversy surrounding his weight gain of the summer. The international auriverde then targeted “journalists, commentators and others” people. “Apart from the World Cup, he won everything with the Seleção, we remind those close to him. We don’t understand what people want from him. He will always give everything for this jersey ”. A point recalled by Neymar in person in his interview with DAZN: “I do everything to make it go well, everything to win with my country. To make my biggest childhood dream come true (win the World Cup) “. Perhaps the last step in getting the famous respect he so desires.