The knife for Neymar
Paris Saint-Germain have announced that superstar Neymar Jr will undergo ankle surgery and thus miss out on the crunch return leg of the capital club's UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash with Real Madrid.
Paris Saint-Germain made the announcement via a brief communiqué on their official website on Wednesday night stating that the superstar would go under the knife in his native Brazil at the end of this week. The decision was reached mutually by the club, the player and the Brazil national team - who absolutely want Neymar fit for this summer's World Cup in Russia - but club president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi felt that there were few other options.
"Of course, we're saddened by this news," said the Qatari after his side clinched a second 3-0 Classique win over arch-rivals Marseille to book a place in the Coupe de France semi-finals. "But this was the best decision for him and the club. We had no choice. We decided together that surgery was the best option."
Verratti: 'We have lost our best player'
Although the club did not announce how long they expect Neymar to be out of action - Al-Khelaïfi only saying that he hopes Neymar will be ready should PSG make it to the quarter-finals - the Parisian number ten will certainly be missing for next Tuesday's UEFA Champions League round of 16 return-leg clash with real Madrid at the Parc des Princes.
"Above all we're sad for him as a man, for Ney, because he is someone who really loves football and who loves playing in this kind of match," offered midfielder Marco Verratti. "He always steps up in the big games. He was really disappointed and we mustn't forget about him. He's sad, and that's understandable, but he will be back soon. Now we all need to give that little bit extra for him. We have lost our best player, but we have other fantastic players and we will need everyone in order to beat Real Madrid."