The Neymar paradox

Neymar Jr is once again in the spotlight after his recent trip to Brazil.

It reopens the debate about the suitability of a player who scores goals and gives assists at the same rate that he generates controversy and off-the-field issues.

Neymar cost PSG an eye-watering 222 million euros, a transfer which shook the foundations of football. An astronomical price for a super player, who is surely the successor to Messi and Ronaldo. His performances in Paris have been admirable, but at the same time there is too much talk about his private life.

At the end of last week it was reported that Neymar travelled to Brazil “to resolve family-related problems”. A trip which meant he missed the Christmas meal which his team-mates attended at Disneyland Paris. Neymar was in his own country.

Unai Emery did not want to divulge the reasons behind his star player’s request for a few days away from the French capital. But it has meant that Neymar will miss the League Cup clash against Strasbourg. While Cavani and Mbappe will be present, Neymar is absent.

On social media, the platform which the Brazilian star regularly uses to display his off-the-field activities, it was revealed that Neymar, as well as resolving some private problems, attended a birthday party and visited his trusted dentist.

“Thanks for the visit, you’re still the same boy, always humble, that’s why you are loved. Thank you Neymar, a great present to see you on my birthday,” wrote the father of his friend Guilherme Pitta, Reinaldo Pitta, on his social media.

Neymar’s continuous trips and the odd crazy night have generated some discomfort at PSG, but they continue to fully support him. He is the star but everyone is behind him.

 The ‘Toiss’, the player’s entourage, his famous father, his sister’s birthday… Neymar is building up a long list of off-the-field episodes which threaten to unravel his good work on the pitch. The paradox of a footballer who wants to dominate the football world but his behaviour suggests the opposite, so much so that Tite, the Brazil national team head coach, wants the media to wipe the slate clean on the player’s image.

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