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Could Neymar injury mean good news for Messi?

15:00 GMT+3 02/12/2021
Neymar Messi PSG 2021-22
With the Brazil superstar set to be on the sidelines for an extended period, GOAL examine the fallout among the African football fraternity

Neymar could be out of action for at least six weeks after picking up an injury against Saint-Etienne, but African football fans reckon his own personal misfortune might spell good news for Lionel Messi.

On an evening where PSG won in comeback fashion, with Messi registering a hat-trick of assists, Neymar’s injury was a real setback for Paris Saint-Germain.

The 29-year-old landed awkwardly after a tackle from a Saint-Etienne defender, and visibly rolled on the floor in pain as the medics came rushing towards him. The reaction from his teammates only proved to show the severity of the incident.

Expressing his disappointment, Neymar took to Instagram after the game and said: "Unfortunately, these setbacks are a part of an athlete's life. Now you have to raise your head and move on. I will come back better and stronger."

Since moving to PSG in 2017, injuries have become an unfortunate constant for the Brazilian, meaning he has now missed roughly 100 games due to injury.

After yet another setback, we take a look at how African social media reacted to the news, which—according to some fans—could be good news for Messi.

Neymar’s injury: The reaction so far

It’s a somewhat controversial opinion, but one Ghanaian fan questioned whether Neymar’s injury could be a positive for PSG.

“Neymar suffers yet another ankle injury yet! Is this a blessing in disguise? Would Neymar's absence make Messi to flourish??” @AnthonyC_Eri posted.

Another Ghanaian fan seemed to follow the same line of thought as the above.

@Opresii explained his claim, saying: “Neymar's injury is unlucky for him but might actually be an advantage for PSG and Messi.

“Messi will get to hold the ball more now and run the show for PSG.”

Neymar has now suffered an injury in every single season since he joined the French giants, prompting @GostosaMN to joke: “Neymar and injuries. Lad really went to PSG to collect the cheque & chill at home.”

On Monday evening, Neymar was overlooked at the business end of the Ballon d’Or voting, failing to make the top ten.

A 16th-placed finish was his lowest rank since moving to PSG, prompting Ghanaian fan @Tam_Cedrick to bemoan the forward’s misfortune: “Injuries have really done him injustices in the past seasons. Quickest recovery Neymar!”

Neymar will likely return at the beginning of February, in time for the beginning of the Champions League knockout stages, with PSG already qualified as runners-up in Group A behind Manchester City.

Could Messi take advantage of his illustrious teammate’s absence in the interim?