Neymar will miss Coupe de France tie after ‘scheduled’ training absence


Neymar returned from the World Cup to play Strasbourg, only to receive a fifth red card for the club, and now he will miss PSG’s cup clash.

Neymar’s training absence on Thursday was “scheduled” and he will miss Paris Saint-Germain’s Coupe de France tie with Chateauroux, Christophe Galtier confirmed.

The striker suffered an ankle injury in the opening game of the World Cup in Brazil, missing the last two group stage matches, although he returned to score in both of the Selecao’s knockout games as they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Croatia.

Neymar returned to PSG and featured in their Ligue 1 opener against Strasbourg, but was shown a second yellow card for diving in the 62nd minute as Kylian Mbappe’s late penalty sealed a 2-1 victory.

He was therefore suspended for PSG’s 3-1 defeat at Lens on Sunday, their first loss of the season, and was notably absent from training on Thursday.

Galtier insisted there were no plans for Neymar to train and also confirmed the 30-year-old will play no part against Chateauroux in the Coupe de France on Friday.

“Regarding Neymar’s absence from training that was planned, as with all the players who went to the World Cup,” PSG boss Galtier told reporters.

“They were assessed by our health professionals and the performance team.

“We decided as a group that Neymar, with everything he’s been through with the ankle problem, needs time for his ankle to recover.”

Asked if Neymar was expected to miss the next match, Wednesday’s Ligue 1 home meeting with Angers, Galtier said: “Just tomorrow.”

Neymar was visibly upset after Brazil’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Croatia as his hopes of winning the World Cup now look slim as he is 34 years old at the next tournament.

However, Galtier is not worried about the former Barcelona man, saying: “I’m not worried about Neymar at all.

“Based on what he has done since the start of the season, he is full of desire to play and he wanted to play a league game but he was suspended. He was very disappointed.

“We are lucky to have a very committed Neymar here, but we have to keep an eye on him physically.”

After Brazil’s shock exit in Qatar, Argentina and France went on to play what many are calling the best World Cup final ever, with Mbappe and PSG’s Lionel Messi starring as La Albiceleste eventually won on penalties after a 3-3 draw after extra time. .

Galtier hopes Messi beat the warm reception in Paris on his return to beat France in the final, while saying Mbappe has not changed after winning the tournament’s Golden Boot and scoring a hat-trick in the final.

“Messi will not play tomorrow,” explained Galtier. “After we discussed it with him, we want him to be ready for the next game.

“I hope our supporters will celebrate him. Leo Messi is a Paris national player and a World Cup winner. We are lucky to have a player like Messi here.

“We also have to appreciate having [Mbappe] at the club. Like Messi, he had a great World Cup.

“Kylian Mbappe wanted to quickly return to competitive football after the World Cup. I feel he is a very intelligent person who is a quick learner and knows that the general consensus around him has changed.

“He is a player with a huge personality and character who is able to do it. We have Kylian Mbappe here every day and he is the same as before.”

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