Neymar is once again free for carnival selection. Cue the conspiracy theories.
Neymar posted on Instagram on Friday to declare that, this year, he would not – repeat NOT – be attending the Rio Carnival.
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Every year, since 2014, he has been either unfit or suspended around this time of year – which coincides closely with the carnival and his sister’s birthday.
This year was to be different. Until the inevitable happened.
A second yellow in the 92nd minute of Paris St-Germain’s 4-3 win against Bordeaux on Sunday means the Brazilian will now be suspended for Saturday’s home game against Dijon.
In 2015, he was suspended from action for Barcelona, around his sister’s birthday in March. In 2016, the same happened.
In 2017, he had a muscle issue, which saw him ruled out around his sister’s birthday.
And in both 2018 and 2019, he was at home, recovering from metatarsal injuries.
However, we are not for one moment suggesting Neymar purposefully got himself sidelined so he could attend the carnival.
Neymar at the 2019 carnival
There was some speculation last March when he chose to return to Brazil and go to the carnival, rather than recovering in Paris and he responded by saying: “I do not think that my social life hinders my performance on the pitch.”
Either way, this latest incident – a seemingly quite unnecessary second yellow in injury time – has sent the rumour mill into overdrive once again!
Jeez. Some people are so cynical.