NEYMAR

PSG's Neymar to miss Rio Carnival for first time in six years

"With immense joy I announce that I won't be at the 2020 Carnival," Neymar said on social media. "That way there won't be any controversy this time."

PSG's Neymar to miss Rio Carnival for first time in six years

Neymar has revealed that he is to miss the Rio Carnival for the first time in six years. In a light-hearted Instagram post on Friday, the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star said: "With immense joy I announce that I won't be at the 2020 Carnival. That way there won't be any controversy this time."

Neymar has had reason to be in Brazil in previous years...

In previous years, Neymar has always had a reason to be in Brazil at the same time as the annual festival: in 2015 and 2016, he was unavailable to play for former club Barcelona due to suspension, and in 2017 he was not on Blaugrana duty due to a muscle issue. Then, after his world-record move to PSG, the forward was in his native country recovering from a broken metatarsal in both 2017 and 2018.

This year, however, he has no such excuse - and knows that his presence in Rio could well cause annoyance among PSG team-mates, chiefs and fans, particularly with the club experiencing a difficult few days in the wake of their 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.

Neymar was critical of the PSG coaches and medical staff after the Ligue 1 side's Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

Neymar ruffles PSG feathers by blaming club for disappointing Dortmund display

After a rib complaint saw Thomas Tuchel leave Neymar out of four games in the run-up to the clash in Dortmund, the player annoyed PSG bosses by publicly blaming the club's coaches and medical staff for his lack of match sharpness. "It's difficult to spend four matches without playing, but, unfortunately, it was not my choice," he told RMC Sport. "It was a choice made by the club, the doctors.

"They took this decision and I did not like it. We had lots of discussions about this because I wanted to play. I felt good but the club was scared. In the end, I am the one who suffers. I understand the fear that the club was suffering from, because in the last two years I was not able to play in the last 16. I respect the decision, but it cannot be like this, because the player ends up suffering."