‘The Club Did Not Want to Take the Risk of Injuring Its Most Important Player’ – Brazil Manager Backs PSG, Not Neymar

There was plenty of fallout after Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League earlier this week and one of the topics brought up is the way the club handled Neymar Jr.’s playing time coming off a rib injury.

Neymar was critical over the lack of playing time given to him leading up to the Champions League match. In total, the Brazilian missed four matches before being named to the starting lineup to face Dortmund. Ultimately, it was Leonardo, PSG’s sporting director, who made the call.

As a result, Neymar was unable to shake off any rust before the first leg against Dortmund. He did score a goal but it was clear PSG’s number 10 was a step slower than usual. Despite the criticism from Neymar, Tite, the Brazil National Team manager, actually agreed with the way Leonardo handled the situation.

Speaking with Diario AS (via Culture PSG), Tite applauded the way the Les Parisiens handled Neymar because of his injury-riddled past.

“I understand the situation. Neymar has a history with injuries. During the last edition of the Champions League, he was injured, he did not play, and PSG was eliminated. And now he will play the French championship, which is already practically won? I understand that the club did not want to take the risk of injuring its most important player.”

PSG finds itself between a rock and a hard place in this scenario. The capital club wants him healthy for these critical European fixtures, but they cannot merely throw him in cold and expect him to be the Neymar we all know. The Brazilian needs a match or two to shake off the rust and find his form, but it comes at the risk of him reaggravating the injury or picking up another one. He is the most fouled player in Ligue 1 after all.

Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how PSG handles him with four fixtures before the second-leg against Dortmund at the Parc Des Princes on March 11.

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Tags Borussia Dortmund Brazil National Team Champions League Neymar
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