Brazilian soccer star Neymar left the field on a stretcher on Sunday during Paris Saint-Germain’s game against Lille in France’s Ligue 1.
The PSG superstar forward had scored the second goal of what became a 4-3 victory but was visibly in tears after an awkward landing in the contest’s 51st minute. Neymar was injured following a stumble after making contact with LiIlle midfielder Benjamin Andre, aggravating the same ankle he hurt during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in late 2022.
The team later announced that Neymar suffered a sprained ankle, but no facture, after an MRI was completed, though tests will continue for further evaluation. He missed 11 days during the World Cup because of the injury, which he suffered in Brazil’s tournament-opening match before returning when they advanced to the Round of 16, according to Sporting News.
PSG is currently in the Champions League and looking to advance to the next round of the knockout stage, and they snapped a three-game losing streak when Lionel Messi scored the game-winning goal in stoppage time — on a free kick during the 95th minute — following Neymar’s departure.
The injury comes amid rumors that PSG could be looking to move on from Neymar, along with recent criticism of the team by star Kylian Mbappe.
“I was never attacking or pointing the finger at Neymar when I mentioned we need to eat and sleep well,” Mbappe reportedly said after Neymar’s injury. “I hope Neymar’s injury is not serious, I hope he returns soon — we need him with us.”
ESPN reported that a potential Neymar transfer was discussed by PSG and Chelsea this past Tuesday, with PSG revisiting intentions to part with Neymar that had supposedly began last summer but ended when they couldn’t find a partner. It’s unknown how the setback could affect the market for Neymar, who just turned 31 earlier this month and is under contract with PSG until June 2027, according to ESPN.