PSG star Neymar in doubt for Barcelona Champions League clash after injury withdrawal

The striker lasted just over an hour before coming off and risks once more missing a key European tie

Paris Saint-Germain face a nervous wait to find out the extent of Neymar’s injury after the Brazilian was withdrawn during Wednesday’s Coupe de France clash with Caen.

The Ligue 1 champions kick off their Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona next week, having fallen at the final stage in 2019-20. 

And they will be desperate to count on the abilities of their star striker, who has missed several key fixtures for his club in the competition.

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What happened to Neymar? 

The ex-Santos and Barcelona forward started for his side in the Coupe de France as one of the few regular first-teamers as Mauricio Pochettino rotated his XI for the round-of-64 encounter. 

PSG made the breakthrough just after half-time, when Moise Kean hit the back of the net. 

But the club’s joy proved short-lived when 64 minutes into the game, Neymar went down holding his left adductor muscle. 

The Brazilian disappeared straight down the tunnel, with Kylian Mbappe called off the bench to replace his usual strike partner. 

PSG won the match 1-0 but will now face a nervous wait on Neymar’s status.

A history of Champions League disappointments

It is not the first time Neymar’s health has taken centre-stage ahead of a key European knockout match. 

In the 2017-18 season, his first since completing a world-record transfer from Barca, the striker fractured a metatarsal bone and missed the last three months of the season, during which time PSG bombed out of the Champions League last 16 at the hands of Real Madrid. 

He then suffered an almost identical fate in January 2019, and could only look on as the French side were upset by Manchester United at the same stage. 

When do PSG take on Barcelona? 

The first leg of the blockbuster Champions League tie kicks off on Tuesday at Camp Nou. 

Barca will then travel to Parc des Princes for the return leg on March 10.

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