Neymar’s birthday injury streak continues against Nantes, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Neymar’s birthday injury streak continues against Nantes

Neymar has continued his tradition of missing matches during his birthday, after he was ruled out of this morning's (Singapore time) Ligue 1 clash in Nantes with a rib injury.

The Brazilian, who turns 28 today, has been injured on his birthday ever since he joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

The attacker, who has scored 15 goals in 18 matches this season, suffered the injury during the first half of the 5-0 win over Montpellier last Saturday.

Neymar hosted a lavish birthday bash at the exclusive Parisian night club Yoyo a day later, much to the annoyance of his coach Thomas Tuchel.

After initially calling it a "distraction", the German yesterday said: "Is it the best way to prepare for a match? No, clearly not. Is it the worst thing in the world? No.

"It is a shame, because we are giving people the chance to speak badly of us... But I am not going to leave a player on the bench or at home because they went out and celebrated."

Tuchel's problems have not been confined to just Neymar.

He was also peppered with questions about Kylian Mbappe's angry reaction to being substituted against Montpellier.

PSG teammate Angel di Maria has since said that Mbappe needs to be more understanding of his teammates.

The Argentine told French broadcaster Canal+: "It is very difficult, nobody wanted to go off, everyone wants to play, that's normal.

"Kylian wants to score, but the manager decided that he was to come off. There are boys on the bench who want to come on and have the ability, he needs to get that."

Tuchel, however, has attempted to play down the incident. He said: "I can't think that Mbappe might use this situation as a reason to leave the club...

"It's not personal between us. It's just a thing between a player who doesn't want to be substituted and a coach who has reasons to do so, because he has players on the bench who need and deserve to play."

When asked if he had taken off Mbappe rather than Neymar because it was the easier option, Tuchel shot back: "If I wanted to be a politician, I would work in politics."