Former Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman does not have any explanation for Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar’s lengthy injury history.
The PSG star managed to avoid any major injury over the first half of the club season, but in his very first fixture with the Brazil national team at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, he suffered a notable ankle injury. Brazil national team manager Tite went on to sideline Neymar from the Selecao’s group stage matches against Switzerland and Cameroon due to his ailment.
During an interview with the Spanish-based outlet Marca, Koeman was asked about Neymar and whether the PSG forward has been “harassed” by opposing defenses, to which the Dutch manager was left without much of an answer.
“I can’t give a good opinion on this subject,” Koeman said. “But in recent years he has always had injuries and I don’t know why. I don’t think it’s only because of tackles by the opponent because now with VAR you can’t do much damage either because you get a red card. The players are more protected than before.
“The only analysis I can make is that he has had many injuries before.”
Neymar was fouled nine times in Brazil’s 2-0 group stage win over Serbia. Overall, he logged a 3.3 fouls drawn per match average over the first half of the Ligue 1 season.
Brazil will square off with South Korea in the World Cup round of 16 on Monday.