The magazine that awards one football’s most prestigious awards revealed why the Brazilian was absent from the nominees
Ballon d’Or presenters France Football has released justifcation explaining why Neymar was left off the 30-man shortlist to win the prestigious award for the first time since 2010.
The Brazil international was the most high-profile absentee from a list of nominees that included Virgil van Dijk, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Describing his last 10 months as being part a ‘black year’, France Football listed eight incidents that provided an explanation for Neymar’s omission.
January 23 – Metatarsal fracture
Neymar picked up a fractured right metatarsal after suffering several fouls during PSG’s 2-0 win over Strasbourg in the round-of-16 Coupe de France match.
The injury kept Neymar out of both legs of the Champions League last-16 defeat against Manchester United and he didn’t return in Ligue 1 until April.
March 6 – Abuse of referee in Man Utd match
Having been absent from the matchday squad because of injury, Neymar unleashed a tirade of abuse at referee Damir Skomina following the controversial penalty that consigned PSG to defeat against the Red Devils.
“That has been a disgrace!” Neymar wrote on his Instagram Stories.
“And UEFA still pick four guys who know nothing about football to review the VAR decision in slow motion… that handball simply doesn’t exist!
“How do you handball behind your back? Ahh.. go f*ck yourselves.”
Neymar was banned by UEFA for three European matches for the rant, which was subsequently released to two games on appeal.
April 27 – Pushing a supporter
As he went to collect his winners medal for the Coupe de France final, Neymar was told by a supporter, ‘to learn to play football’.
The Brazilian pushed the fan and was eventually banned by the FFF for three games for the incident.
June 6 – Ankle injury ruins his Copa America
An ankle injury suffered in a warm-up match against Qatar ruled Neymar out of Brazil’s entire 2019 Copa America tournament.
He could only look on as the Samba stars lifted the winners trophy on home soil.
August 9 – Cleared of rape allegation
After being accused of sexual assualt by Brazilian model Najila Trindade Mendes de Sousa, Neymar was cleared of any wrongdoing once the complaint was dismissed.
Transfer window – Aborted return to Barcelona
The on-again, off-again return of Neymar to Barcelona ended with the Samba star staying in Paris.
Having been keen to leave PSG for his former club, Neymar didn’t get his wish and the Parisian fans have not forgotten.
September 14 – PSG fans show anger
On his return to action from the ankle injury that kept him out of the Copa America, Neymar was whistled and jeered by PSG supporters in the Ligue 1 match against Strasbourg.
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Neymar scored the winning goal with a superb finish, but admitted after the game he did want to leave the club during the transfer window, but will now put in 100 per cent as he has been staying.
October 13 – Another injury on international duty
Neymar suffered a thigh injury during Brazil’s friendly against Nigeria.
Following scans, it was revealed he will be absent from all football for the next four weeks, meaning he will miss the Ligue 1 blockbuster against Marseille and the Champions League match against Club Brugge.