- Neymar’s red card during Paris Saint Germain’s 4-3 win over Bordeaux means he could be able to celebrate Carnival in Brazil for the sixth year running.
- The Brazilian pick up a second yellow during Sunday’s match after lashing out in the 92nd minute, meaning he will be suspended when PSG hosts Dijon next Saturday.
- Carnival officially ends Tuesday before the start of Lent, but celebrations often continue across the country until the end of the week.
- Neymar has been absent around the time of the festival for each of the past five seasons.
- Last week, he announced on Instagram, according to AS, that he wouldn’t be attending to avoid “controversy.”
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Neymar has attended Brazil’s annual Carnival for each of the past five years, even though it lies right in the middle of the European soccer season.
Whether it be injury or suspension, the 28-year-old has always found a reason to return to his native country and celebrate at the world’s biggest street party.
This year, he could once again be free to fly home after picking up a 92nd-minute red card in Paris Saint Germain’s 4-3 win over Bordeaux on Sunday.
Neymar picked up a second yellow after lashing out at Yacine Adli in stoppage time, meaning he is suspended for PSG’s game against Dijon next Saturday.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel defended Neymar after he was sent off, saying: “He is nervous and he reacts. It is human. He must not, but it is human. And the Bordeaux player does not even get a yellow card.”
Carnival, which celebrates the last few days of the Christian calendar before Lent, officially ends Tuesday, though many Brazilian cities, such as Sao Paulo, continue the festivities until the end of the week.
Before his suspension, Neymar told his 134 million Instagram followers he wouldn’t be attending this year’s event, hoping to avoid controversy.
“With immense joy I announce that I won’t be at the 2020 Carnival,” he said in a story on Friday, according to AS. “That way there won’t be any controversy this time.”
While with his former club FC Barcelona, Neymar was able to attend Carnival in both 2015 and 2016 because of suspension.
Since joining PSG in 2017, he’s been out of action with a variety of injuries, including a broken metatarsal, each year at the time of Carnival.
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Whether his latest absence will see him go back on his word and travel once again for the festivities remains to be seen.
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