Ole Gunnar Solksjaer would have savoured his pickled herring with more delight than usual this morning.
With three weeks remaining until Man United host PSG, Neymar’s participation in the box-office Champions League round of 16 tie has been cast in doubt.
The Brazilian forward suffered a fractured metatarsal during his side’s 2-0 Coupe de France win over Strasbourg.
It’s the same injury that ruled him out for three months at the end of last season, though initial reports suggest the most recent fracture is not as severe.
Many of you will not be able to muster sympathy for Neymar — but you should.
His reputation nosedived when he ‘sold out’ by trading Barcelona for PSG.
The hopeful Samba boy with echoes of Ronaldinho became a money-grabbing, limelight-hogging diva almost overnight.
Neymar doesn’t help himself, that much is clear.
However, it is wrong that theatrics have overshadowed his redeeming qualities in the minds of so many.
He’s such an brilliantly entertaining player.
Take his reaction to being injured last night.
The incident occurred in the 55th minute when Moataz Zemzemi kicked Neymar three times in quick succession.
You’ll notice ‘dolphin’ Neymar stayed on his feet after two clear fouls.
And actually, is it any wonder he chooses to go down when kicked?
The damage to his metatarsal occurred just after the second of the Strasbourg player’s three bootings — if Neymar had gone down after the first one he may have avoided injury.
How did Neymar’s respond to Zemzemi’s rough treatment?
By performing a rainbow kick over his tormentor a minute later…
If you don’t enjoy the use of audacious skill as a form of revenge then you should re-evaluate why you watch football.
The beautiful game is supposed to be fun.
And Neymar, among other things, is unquestionably fun.
You’ve seen his latest back-pass, right?
The 26-year-old limped off after putting his nemesis on his a**e with a rainbow kick.
PSG, Ligue 1 and the Champions League will all be worse off without him for the next month or so.
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