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Neymar’s injury is “a severe blow” for Paris Saint-Germain before the Champions League resumes, Lyon coach Rudi Garcia said.
The Brazilian forward was ruled out for up to four weeks after sustaining an adductor injury in PSG’s French Cup clash against Caen on Wednesday.
Neymar will miss Tuesday’s trip to the Camp Nou to face his former club Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16, while he also has doubts for the second leg.
Garcia, whose team is second in the Ligue 1 table ahead of PSG by one point, said the injury was a major setback for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
“It would be good if the two French teams could represent us with dignity and go as far as possible in the European Cup. It’s a very hard blow, “Garcia said at a press conference on Friday.
“I have always said that we want to see the best players on the field instead of in the infirmary. It is a pity that Neymar is injured.
“However, PSG has no shortage of substitutes.”
53.9% – Neymar has only played 103 of Paris’s 191 matches in all competitions since his first meeting with the club on August 13, 2017 in Guingamp, only 53.9%. Difficult. pic.twitter.com/YLc1tuqgTx
– OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 11, 2021
PSG were runners-up in the Champions League last season, while Lyon reached the semi-finals.
In what is a tight top of the Ligue 1 table, Lille (54) is two points behind Lyon (52) and ahead of PSG (51) and Monaco (48).
Only PSG star Kylian Mbappé (22) has been directly involved in more goals than Lyon captain Memphis Depay (19) in Ligue 1 this season.
Garcia, whose team host Montpellier on Saturday, praised Depay and while saying Lyon were in a strong position, their goal remains a top-three result.
“Set an example as a captain either on the field or in the locker room. Memphis Depay and Lyon have the same goal: for the club to be in the top three and qualify for the Champions League, ”he said.
“If the situation allows us to finish in a better position than third or second, we will talk about it again. But for the moment it’s like that, I’m not going to repeat myself ”.