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31.05.2019 Football News

Neymar's Career On Downward Spiral?

By BBC
Neymar's Career On Downward Spiral?

Things aren't going well for the world's most expensive player at the moment.

This week, a clip on social media showed Paris St-Germain's £200m striker Neymar, who was training with Brazil ahead of June's Copa America, being nutmegged by teenage Cruzeiro defender Weverton. It's fair to say, he wasn't best impressed.

Weverton, 19, had been drafted into head coach Tite's squad to gain experience but found himself hauled to the ground by Neymar after knocking the ball through the PSG forward's legs.

This came after Neymar, who had arrived at Brazil's training camp in a very flash £11.5m helicopter, was stripped of his captaincy of the national team after a string of incidents. Paris St-Germain team-mate Dani Alves was given the armband instead.

Neymar has found himself in quite a bit of hot water this season.

In May, French football authorities banned Neymar for three matches after he lashed out at a fan following defeat by Rennes in the Coupe de France final. He was also reportedly involved in a dressing room incident with his club team-mates after a loss to Montpellier.

Despite costing Paris St-Germain a world record fee just two summers ago, the star's future at the club is often in question, with Neymar regularly linked with a move back to Barcelona or even kick-starting a new era of 'Galacticos' at Real Madrid.

Barca and Brazil legend Rivaldo has suggested that Neymar would be better served by a return to the Nou Camp, calling him "the missing piece" in Ernesto Valverde's pursuit of a Champions League title.

Yet. since winning Europe's elite club competition with Barca in 2015, Neymar has endured a tricky run in the competition himself.

He was knocked out in the quarter-finals with Barcelona in 2016, and since arriving in Paris in August 2017, PSG have twice failed to get past the last-16 stage -- losing to Real Madrid in 2018 and Manchester United this season.

That defeat to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side landed Neymar in trouble, despite the forward not being able to play thanks to a broken metatarsal.

Neymar criticised the referee for awarding Manchester United a controversial late VAR-assisted penalty for handball, calling the decision "a disgrace".

"Four guys who know nothing about football watch a slow-motion replay in front of the television," he said on Instagram.

"What can [PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe] do with his hand while his back is turned?"

So, what next for Neymar?
He will still be one of the most exciting players to watch at the Copa America next month, but there is undoubtedly a sense that some football fans are running out of patience with the inevitable drama that accompanies him.

As for where Neymar will be playing his football after the Copa America -- that, much like his £11.5m helicopter, is very much up in the air.

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