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If injured, the Brazilian forward could now miss PSG's Champions League tie with his former club Barcelona next week. But it's another date that has supporters speculating: 11 March.
That's the birthday of Neymar's younger sister, Rafaella Santos, a date he mysteriously tends to have off each year. So: two weeks quarantine to enter Brazil, a month to go until the big day, leaving Neymar plenty of time to pick up a present.
"There are 3 things certain in life: death, taxes, Neymar being injured for his sister's birthday," speculated one cynic on Twitter.
Neymar always get injured every February ahead of his sister's birthday in March
- ZEUS (@itzbasito) February 10, 2021
Neymar has gone off injured for PSG.
His sister's birthday is on the 11th of March. :eyes: pic.twitter.com/nv2CGOIqPS
- FootballFunnys (@FootballFunnnys) February 10, 2021
Swear neymar always gets injured at this stage of the season. It's his sister's birthday in March innit?
- Matthew Tedder (@Tedder2K_CUFC) February 10, 2021
There are 3 things certain in life
Neymar being injured for his sisters birthday
- Haz (@pubIad) February 10, 2021
Neymar has just gone off injured
His sisters birthday is on the 11th of March :eyes: pic.twitter.com/iPPd87QIYC
- BettingOdds (@BettingOddsUK) February 10, 2021
It is insane how Neymar keeps picking up injuries on the month of February, this is his SIXTH incident in a row!
I hope the festivals in Brazil and his sister's birthday are worth it, speedy recovery for sure
- Khalil (@KhalilDarmoul) February 10, 2021
"It is insane how Neymar keeps picking up injuries in the month of February, this is his SIXTH incident in a row!" claimed another football fan.
"I hope the festivals in Brazil and his sister's birthday are worth it, speedy recovery for sure."
To be fair to the 29-year-old striker, it was a crunching challenge that put him out of action in PSG's 1-0 win over Caen. It left his manager, Mauricio Pochettino, bemoaning the "lack of protection" given to the Brazilian.
We also seriously doubt Neymar would intentionally miss the UCL last-16 first leg at Camp Nou on 16 February.
Neymar has just gone off injured for PSG. :eyes:
Just going to leave this here. :point_down: pic.twitter.com/G3eVg9ryMH
- Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) February 10, 2021
However it's unsurprising that some football fans are cynical, given how Neymar has always seemed to make time for Rafaella Santos's birthday, no matter what is going on in the football world.
In 2018, it was reported that Neymar had missed a football match to be at his sister's birthday for the fourth year in a row.
It was even a talking point when Pochettino took the PSG job. In an interview with El Larguero in January, Pochettino revealed he'd consider the player being allowed to take some time off around his sister's birthday, if it was requested.
Ahh the annual Neymar injury that always happens before his sister's birthday https://t.co/1OI58y062W
- Barça Ball (@BarcaBall1) February 10, 2021
I'm suspecting neymar's sister has very beautiful friends because why does he break his legs every season just to attend her birthday celebrations?
- Roy Nsirim (@maestroroy) February 10, 2021
But we're sure Pochettino didn't mean for Neymar to pick up a suspicious February knock with a vital Champions League game to play. And to be fair to Neymar, we're also sure he doesn't want this either.
Here's hoping he's fit enough to play both legs against Barcelona and to join his sister (via Zoom, of course) on 11 March as well.
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