On the 10th of March 2021, Paris Saint-Germain star striker Neymar Jr. was carried off on a stretcher during a match against Olympique Lyonnais after sustaining an ankle injury. The severity of the injury was not initially clear, but the following day, PSG released a statement announcing that Neymar would be out for the rest of the season. This devastating news came at a crucial moment for the club, as they were set to face Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals just a few weeks later.
The injury occurred during the first half of the match against Lyon, as Neymar landed awkwardly while trying to control a high ball. He immediately called for the medical staff, who rushed onto the field to assess him. After a few moments, it became clear that Neymar was in a lot of pain and would need to be taken off the field. He was able to stand up and walk off with the help of the medical staff, but it was clear that the injury was significant.
After the match, PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino spoke to reporters and confirmed that Neymar’s injury was serious. “It doesn’t look good,” he said. “We’ll have to wait for the results of the tests, but it looks like he could be out for a while.”
The news of Neymar’s injury was a blow for PSG, who were already without several key players. As well as missing Neymar, they were without Angel Di Maria, Juan Bernat, and Mauro Icardi, who were all out due to injury. The club had been struggling with a number of injuries throughout the season, and the loss of their top scorer was a huge blow to their hopes of success.
The injury also had wider implications for PSG’s season, as it meant that Neymar would miss the crucial Champions League quarterfinal clash against Bayern Munich. The two sides had met in the final of the competition just a few months earlier, with Bayern coming out on top. PSG had been hoping for revenge in the quarterfinals, but without Neymar, their chances of success looked slim.
The news of Neymar’s injury was met with sympathy from across the football world, with many of his fellow professionals wishing him a speedy recovery. The injury was particularly frustrating for Neymar himself, who had missed large parts of the previous two seasons due to injury. He had been in fine form in the current campaign, scoring 13 goals and providing six assists in just 21 appearances.
Despite the disappointment of Neymar’s injury, PSG were still able to mount a strong challenge in the Champions League without him. In the quarterfinals against Bayern Munich, they won the first leg 3-2, thanks to goals from Kylian Mbappe and Marquinhos. In the second leg, they held on for a 1-0 win, with Mbappe scoring the decisive goal.
The victory over Bayern Munich set up a semifinal clash against Manchester City, which proved to be a step too far for PSG. They lost the first leg 2-1 at home, and were then beaten 2-0 in the second leg away at the Etihad Stadium. Despite the disappointment of the defeat, PSG could take heart from the fact that they had made it to the semifinals without their star player.
Looking ahead to next season, PSG will be hoping to have Neymar back fully fit and firing on all cylinders. The Brazilian forward is a key figure for the club, and they will be keen to avoid any further injury setbacks. With a squad packed with talent, they will be hoping to mount a sustained challenge both in France and in Europe, and could well be among the favorites for the Champions League next season.
In conclusion, Neymar’s injury was a significant blow to PSG’s hopes for success in the 2020-21 season. The loss of the Brazilian forward was keenly felt, particularly in the Champions League quarterfinals against Bayern Munich. However, PSG were able to mount a strong challenge without him, and their victory over Bayern was a particular highlight. Although they ultimately fell short in the semifinals against Manchester City, they will take heart from the fact that they were able to make it that far without their star player. As they look ahead to next season, they will be hoping to have Neymar back fully fit and ready to go, as they mount another challenge for silverware.