Neymar’s Injury Curse – Conspiracy or Coincidence?

Neymar’s Injury Curse – Conspiracy or Coincidence?

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There are 3 certainties in life: Death, taxes, and Neymar being out of action in the month of March. The Brazil star has once again been the talk of the town following a one-match suspension in the week of Rio Carnival. Tweeters flocked to social media to make fun of Neymar, to question his relationship with his sister, and to ask if he was straight up taking the p*ss. It was the sixth time in a row that the player had missed playing time during the same time-frame. But is there more to the story than coincidence? In March 2015, Neymar was declared unavailable to play for his then-current club Barcelona due to suspension. Fair enough, you might think. But in March 2016, the same thing happened. Exactly a year later, in March 2017, while still playing for Barcelona, Neymar returned to Brazil with a muscle injury. Following a world-record switch to Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar was the talk of world football. His every move was questioned. His every action detailed Unsurprisingly, then, Neymar found himself at the centre of a media storm when he was sidelined with a foot injury and sent back to Brazil in March 2018. Different club, same outcome. Only this time the fans expected it. While Neymar shared images of himself and his family enjoying his sister’s birthday in Brazil on March 11, fans predicted another long lay-off the following year. But it’s not only his sister’s birthday that has caused upset amongst fans. Neymar hit the headlines in 2019 when he was spotted dancing on his injured foot in Salvador despite being on crutches just days before. That made it five years in a row that Neymar was unavailable during the month of March. And after a pre-season of flirtation with Barcelona, fans had gone as far as wanting him to leave the club. Neymar was unmoved, however – he continued his annual lavish celebrations which take place each year in February. Fellow players and celebrities flock to Neymar’s notorious parties at which the player seemingly has no care in the world. Two days after his party in 2020, however, he was left out of PSG’s Ligue 1 match at Nantes after ‘suffering a rib injury’. Fans were annoyed, too, when he attended the birthday of PSG team-mates Edinson Cavani, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria. With the second leg looming, scheduled to take place on the day of his sister’s birthday on March 11, fans were suspect. Right on cue, days before the 2020 Rio Carnival, Neymar picked up a needless second yellow card in the 92nd minute against Bordeaux. Following pressure to stay in France, however, Neymar took to social media to address the situation. “It is with immense joy that I announce that I won’t be at the 2020 Carnival,” he laughed on Instagram. It did little to deflect from the fact that it was the sixth straight season in which he’d missed playing time during March. Is Neymar’s series of unfortunate events just that; unfortunate? Or is there more to it? One thing is for certain – supporters will be expecting Neymar to be on his very best behaviour when March of next year rolls around.

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