Sports Burst - Neymar's Never-Ending Nightmare

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By Tim Stannard

 

Worst season ever is over for Neymar after ankle injury forces footballer out of Copa America 2019

 

Well, looking on the bright side for Brazil at least one thorny problem has been eliminated ahead of Copa America - how do you solve a problem like Neymar. 

An ankle injury for the PSG man in Wednesday night's friendly 2-0 win against Qatar sees Neymar definitely ruled out of Copa America 2019, with the tournament due to get underway on home soil next week. 

The sight of a limping Neymar being helped down the tunnel in Brasilia caps off a rotten sporting spell for the player - suspended for largely idiotic activity in Ligue 1 and the Champions League as well as losing Brazil's captaincy. That's not even taking into consideration the headlines of the past week. 

On the downside, Brazil are without a genuinely world-class talent and a talismanic game-changer. But with the glass half full, there is no more debate over whether the footballer is any fit state psychologically to play the tournament after legal issues over a rape allegation and Neymar's subsequent defense through the medium of Instagram.

Indeed, the president and vice-president of Brazil's federation held differing views of whether Neymar was going to be more of a distraction than footballing dynamite during the tournament.

The Sports Burst live show will dig into the Kevin Durant debate at 12PM ET / 9AM PT - are Brazil better off without Neymar? Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page. 

 

Champions League hangover hits Nations League encounter 

 

The UEFA Nations League continues on Thursday! Whoop! Whoop!

Few may have noticed or even care about the newbie tournament but Cristiano Ronaldo certainly does after bagging a hat-trick against Switzerland on Wednesday to put Portugal into a final for a competition designed to push the modern soccer player to breaking point. 

A mixture of enormous hangovers and some fearsome frowns will dominate the second semifinal taking place in Portugal today as the Netherlands takes on England. 

A large contingent of players from Saturday's Champions League final are required for duty once again for both teams although England boss Gareth Southgate is contemplating leaving out all seven from the squad that played in Madrid. "A unique set of circumstances," admitted Southgate on the decision to be made. 

 

Elsewhere in other international news, Belgium are continuing the qualification process for the 2020 European Championships in a clash against Kazakhstan. Not that exciting except for the fact that Eden Hazard is playing! And Eden Hazard is just seconds...maybe minutes...maybe hours....but probably days away from signing for Real Madrid after The Guardian reported that a fee of $112 million has been agreed with Chelsea. 

Post to Post: The Soccer Show will bring you all the big news and reaction of the day on our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 5:30PM ET / 3:30PM PT. 

 

Keylor Navas says no to Costa Rica to focus on future 

 

Staying on international news and Real Madrid transfer news in a perfect combination and Keylor Navas has opted out of playing for Costa Rica in the upcoming Gold Cup tournament. "A big loss," admitted Coach Gustavo Matosas. 

The goalkeeper is instead going to spend the next month trying to work out where he will play next with Madrid no longer interested in the footballer's service. The transfer tracker hive-mind is putting the player at PSG after the announcement that Gigi Buffon would be leaving the club

However, Sports Burst has an inkling that Jan Oblak could be a surprise arrival in Paris after some words of disquiet about his Atletico future yesterday.