Neymar’s injury is “a real hard blow” to Paris Saint-Germain ahead of the Champions League resuming, Lyon coach Rudi Garcia said.
The Brazil forward was ruled out for up to four weeks after suffering an adductor injury in PSG’s Coupe de France clash with Caen on Wednesday.
Neymar will miss Tuesday’s trip to Camp Nou to face his former club Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, while he is also in doubt for the return clash.
Garcia, whose team are second in the Ligue 1 table ahead of PSG by a 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 real hard blow,” Garcia told a news conference on Friday.
“I’ve always said, the greatest players we want to see on the pitch rather than in the infirmary. It is a great pity that Neymar was injured.
“Nevertheless, PSG are not lacking substitutes.”
53.9% – Neymar has only played 103 of Paris’ 191 games in all competitions since his first encounter with the club on 13 August 2017 at Guingamp, only 53.9%. Tough. 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 part of the Ligue 1 table, Lille (54) are two points clear of Lyon (52) and ahead of PSG (51) and Monaco (48).
Only PSG star Kylian Mbappe (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 he said Lyon were in a strong position, his target remains a top-three finish.
“He sets an example as a captain whether on the pitch or in the changing rooms. Memphis Depay and Lyon have the same goal – that the club 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 place, we will talk about it again. But for the moment it’s like that, I’m not going to repeat myself.”