Third straight birthday injury fuels Neymar conspiracy theories

The conspiracy theorists are out in force after Neymar was - for a third straight year - ruled out of the game proceeding his birthday party.

A rib injury has forced the Paris St Germain forward to miss Tuesday's Ligue 1 match away to Nantes, just 48 hours after celebrating his 28th birthday at a nightclub in Paris.

The Brazil star played the full 90 minutes on Saturday when Thomas Tuchel's side thrashed Montpellier 5-0, but did need treatment during the first half.

Bizarrely though, his latest setback continues a curious trend that’s seen Neymar miss the first game after his birthday for consecutive seasons.

Plenty of football fans have called out the Brazilian over the curious spate of injuries that seem to crop up around the time of big occasions in his personal life.

PSG ‘giving people the chance to speak badly’ of them

PSG coach Tuchel admitted Neymar's lavish birthday celebration posed a distraction for his side, coming just days before their next clash.

Neymar will now miss the midweek encounter and his coach admitted the preparation for the fixture was not ideal with several PSG players out with the Brazilian on Sunday night at a venue close to the Eiffel Tower.

Neymar has been ruled out of PSG's match days after his 28th birthday party. Pic: Getty

"Is it the best way to prepare for a match? No, clearly not," Tuchel told a press conference.

"Is it the worst thing in the world? No.

"I always protect my players, and I really love my team. With this party, I accept that it is a bit difficult to protect the players, but the context is not simply black or white.

"It is a shame, because we are giving people the chance to speak badly of us. We need to adapt to the situation, but I am not going to leave a player on the bench or at home because they went out and celebrated."

Many of Neymar's star PSG teammates partied with the Brazilian in Paris. Pic: Getty

With Neymar out of the match, the onus will be on Kylian Mbappe, who was involved in a heated discussion with Tuchel at the weekend.

The Frenchman was replaced in the second half by Mauro Icardi and showed his frustration with the PSG boss on the touchline.

"There is nothing personal between him and me. These things happen," Tuchel added.

"It was between a player who does not want to come off and a coach who had his reasons for doing something and who wanted to give a game to players who deserved it."

With agencies