France Football have revealed how a ‘black year’ prevented Neymar from earning a nomination for the 2019 Ballon d’Or.
The French magazine that awards the most coveted individual honour in world football released a detailed report justifying Neymar’s absence for the first time in nine years.
While the Paris Saint-Germain superstar is widely considered as one of the finest talents in the game, the last 12 months of his career has seen him snubbed from the 30-man shortlist.
Described as a ‘black year’ by the publication, the most high profile omission was explained in eight key points:
January 23 – Metatarsal fracture
March 6 – Abuse of referee in Man Utd match
April 27 – Pushing a supporter
June 6 – Ankle injury before Copa America
August 9 – Cleared of rape allegation
Transfer window – Aborted return to Barcelona
September 14 – PSG fans show anger
October 13 – Another injury on international duty
While the issues varied from injuries and unsportsmanlike behaviour on the field of play, his transfer saga between PSG and former club FC Barcelona also played a role.
Despite the glaring issues the Brazilian has faced, he scored 23 goals and registered 13 assists in 28 games last season – followed with four goals in five games within the 2019/20 campaign.