Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar revealed he "spent two days at home crying" after suffering another metatarsal injury.

Neymar is recovering from a foot injury sustained in PSG's Coupe de France clash against Strasbourg last month, with the world's most expensive footballer facing another seven weeks on the sidelines.

The former Barcelona forward suffered a similar injury last February which forced him to miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season.

Discussing his latest setback, Neymar told Brazilian TV channel Globo: "This time I had a tough time getting over it.

"I spent two days at home crying. It's more complicated. 

"The first time I hurt myself I said, 'I'll have an operation, it has to be fixed as quickly as possible'. I wasn't sad."

Before the injury, Neymar scored 13 goals in as many Ligue 1 appearances, while he netted five in the Champions League and a further two in domestic cup competitions.

Paris Saint-Germain can reach the Champions League final even without Neymar, according to Brazil great Cafu.

The Ligue 1 giants laid down a marker with a 2-0 win away to Manchester United without the injured Neymar and Edinson Cavani in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday.

Cafu, who won Europe's top club competition with AC Milan in 2006-07, said PSG showed they were capable of getting to the decider without Neymar.

"All 16 teams that are competing in the last 16 of the Champions League have full potential to win, regardless of whether you lose your biggest star or not," he said on Sunday.

"Of course, Paris Saint-Germain will miss Neymar.

"He is a reference, but if you see the first game of Paris Saint-Germain away from home, with the achievement that they made, you see that PSG have a chance to reach the final.

"But, of course, with Neymar there is a further hope of victory and conquest."

Already 12 points clear in Ligue 1, PSG are bidding to win the Champions League for the first time.

Neymar will not recover from his metatarsal injury in time to feature in Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League return clash with Manchester United, according to his father, who indicated that the forward will not play again until April.

PSG host United on March 6 in the second leg of their round of 16 tie, with the French champions taking a 2-0 lead into the game after Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe scored in a convincing win at Old Trafford.

Neymar has been out of action since he injured his foot in PSG's 2-0 Coupe de France victory over Strasbourg on January 23, and his father ruled out the possibility of the 27-year-old playing in the next few weeks.

"For now Neymar is injured," Neymar Senior told Telefoot.

"It's complicated and it bothers those who love football and who like to see him play.

"The protocol is a minimum of 10 weeks. To come back against Manchester United is impossible."

Neymar Senior moved to distance his son from speculation linking him with a move back to Spain, with Real Madrid and Barcelona both mentioned as potential suitors in the media.

PSG paid Barcelona €222million for the Brazil international in August 2017 but reports that he would consider another lucrative move have persisted ever since.

Neymar Senior responded to the latest round of rumours, saying: "He is very happy in Paris, apart from the injury.

"There are two people who speak for Neymar: he and I have not spoken at any time.

"Has anyone ever heard anything from us about a possible return to Barcelona?

"It's impossible to leave a player like him out of the rumours. There was no call with Barcelona, ​​it's wrong.

"The present is in Paris, the future is in Paris. It's hard to talk about the future because in football, it can change at any time."

Thomas Tuchel offered no update on the condition of Neymar or Edinson Cavani ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's clash with Saint-Etienne but confirmed Thomas Meunier and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting would miss the game amid mounting injury problems.

Right-back Meunier missed PSG's 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the Champions League following a head injury he sustained against Bordeaux three days earlier, and Tuchel said Cameroon international Choupo-Moting has been taken ill.

With Cavani sidelined by a hip injury and Neymar recovering from a damaged metatarsal, Tuchel said he is keeping a close eye on Marco Verratti and Presnel Kimpembe, who have both been dogged by injuries in recent weeks.

"Thomas Meunier will not be available tomorrow, nor Choupo-Moting because of illness," Tuchel told reporters.

"The other players will be present but we need to be attentive to the old injuries of Verratti and Kimpembe.

"There is no news for Cavani and Neymar."

Tuchel was in upbeat mood despite the fitness concerns, and he picked out Kimpembe for praise along with Brazilian midfielder Marquinhos who deputised in midfield at Old Trafford.

Full-backs Thilo Kehrer and Juan Bernat were also credited for their part in extending the champions winning run to three consecutive matches in all competitions.

"Thilo Kehrer and Juan Bernat are doing a great job," said Tuchel. "They deserve to play.

"Presnel Kimpembe has everything to become one of the best defenders in Europe.

"Marquinhos is very good in the middle, as in defence. He is an incredible player who must and always wants to improve.

"I am happy that we are able to play as a team. Whether in the Champions League or Ligue 1."

Neymar has used social media to share a defiant message as he continues his recovery from a metatarsal injury.

Paris Saint-Germain's star man has been out of action since sustaining the injury in a Coupe de France win over Strasbourg last month.

The 27-year-old missed PSG's 2-0 win over Manchester United on Tuesday, but revealed he is hopeful of returning in time to feature in the Champions League quarter-finals should Thomas Tuchel's side avoid an embarrassing turnaround in the second leg of their clash with the Red Devils.

And Neymar, who also released a video of himself wildly celebrating PSG's goals in the victory at Old Trafford, followed that news up by taking to his personal Instagram account.

"Because life is for warriors, nothing weakens me!" a caption stated, with Neymar pictured in front of a private jet holding both crutches across his chest, although Tuchel may not be best pleased that his key player is so willing to take such a risk if he is indeed serious about making a swift comeback.

Neymar is confident Paris Saint-Germain will win the Champions League this year due to their "awesome team" and "genius coach" Thomas Tuchel.

The Brazil star missed the first leg of their last-16 tie with Manchester United on Tuesday as he is recovering from a metatarsal injury sustained last month.

PSG made light work of Neymar's absence, and that of striker Edinson Cavani, as they claimed a 2-0 win at Old Trafford that puts them in a commanding position to reach the quarter-finals.

The Ligue 1 leaders have yet to win Europe's biggest prize even amid the huge financial backing of owners Qatar Sports Investments, but Neymar believes their wait will end this year.

The 27-year-old also expects to be fully fit to play a part in their run to glory, with the final taking place on June 1 at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.

"PSG will be Champions League champion," he said in an interview with Red Bull. "PSG is not just about me - it has an awesome team with great athletes and a genius coach.

"Besides, the PSG fans are like a 12th player when we are playing in Paris. I have no doubts that we will be champions and that I will be playing."

Neymar admits it is difficult to be sidelined with a foot injury for the second year in succession, but he thinks his problems have made him grow as a player.

"The treatment has just begun," he said. "It will be a long journey and I will have little victories day by day. Thank God I have great professionals by my side and the support of PSG as well as the support from fans all over the world.

"I have played football since I was a little child so, yes, it's very hard to be away from football, from the club's routine and from the fans' warmth. In 2018 I faced something similar and I know how bad it is, but that experience made me stronger and more prepared to face what's coming now."

Thomas Tuchel insists Kylian Mbappe cannot be expected to fill the roles of Neymar and Edinson Cavani when Paris Saint-Germain face Manchester United.

The Ligue 1 leaders visit Old Trafford on Tuesday for the first leg of the much-anticipated Champions League last-16 tie, but will do so without Neymar and Cavani, who are sidelined with respective foot and hip injuries.

France star Mbappe is therefore likely to be PSG's main hope of ensuring they leave England with at least an away goal to take back to Parc des Princes for the second leg on March 6.

But head coach Tuchel does not want the 20-year-old to alter his game to compensate for the absence of his usual attacking partners.

"There's no point putting pressure on Mbappe," he told a news conference on Monday. "It's not his job to replace Neymar and Cavani and do the job of all three of them. 

"He has to play freely. I want us to be able to help him with good passes. He's here to grow and this is the perfect moment for that."

Tuchel admits PSG will inevitably be worse off without Neymar, who damaged a metatarsal during a Coupe de France match last month - the same bone he broke last year.

"Let me put it another way: will Manchester United miss [Paul] Pogba, if he was not there? Will they miss [Marcus] Rashford? Of course they will," Tuchel said when asked if his PSG could replace the Brazil star.

"You cannot replace quality players like this. Neymar is one of the key, key players in Europe and we miss him a lot."

Tuchel is particularly wary of the threat posed by Pogba and Anthony Martial, who between them scored all three goals in United's 3-0 Premier League victory over Fulham on Saturday.

"I don't think there's any surprise Pogba is key," he said. "He's an incredible player with wonderful qualities. He's extremely strong with the ball at his feet. I think he's always dangerous offensively. Him and Martial are a dangerous pairing."

However, Tuchel intends to set his team up to attack United and hopes to score at least once.

"We have our identity and it's not easy to change a team's identity. We play attacking football - it's in our DNA," he said. "We're here to score, maybe more than one.

"I imagine United will be bold and we'll have to be at our best level. I'm sure there will be times tomorrow where we'll be defending deeply. 

"Over 180 minutes, I'd say it's a 50-50 game. At Old Trafford, I'm not sure. We have a second leg in Paris, and we feel very strong and comfortable at Parc des Princes. It's one of these games where the details, you can get a decision from the referee, a yellow, red, anything can make the difference. It's a close game."

Neymar is "technically above everybody" at Paris Saint-Germain according to Nene, who feels his fellow Brazilian can still achieve all his ambitions in Paris.

PSG travel to Manchester United for Tuesday's mouth-watering Champions League last-16 clash with their superstar forward sidelined due to a metatarsal injury.

Fellow attacker Edinson Cavani faces tests on a hip problem sustained during Saturday's Ligue 1 win over Bordeaux and Nene, who played for PSG between 2010 and 2013, feels such losses will be felt by head coach Thomas Tuchel.

"It would have been beautiful to play with [Neymar] because he's a very smart player, and technically he's above everybody," he told Omnisport.

"I think he's living an important moment, every year he's showing his quality, his strength. He can be stronger every year."

Despite their dominance in France, PSG are yet to reach a Champions League semi-final and Nene believes amassing experience in the competition is key to going further in the competition.

"I think some experience is missing, and also they need to be consistent," the Sao Paulo winger explained.

"There are only top-level teams, with a lot of experience in that competition. They're playing with very strong teams, so it's normal that they struggle to win.

"Every year, they're a bit closer, this year they have a great team, I hope they'll win it."

Speculation has persisted over Neymar returning to LaLiga following his world-record switch to PSG in 2017 but Nene feels the 27-year-old is in the perfect place to realise all his ambitions.

"I don't think that he's bigger than Paris, because Paris today are massive as well," he said. "They're the same level as Barcelona and Real Madrid.

"He doesn't need to look for another team [due to being] bigger than the club. Paris are one of the most important clubs in the world.

"He has everything, the team, the structure. He has everything he needs to play his A-game."

On the prospect of Neymar achieving his aim of Ballon d'Or glory, Nene added: "Being one of the best players in the world, he can do it with PSG.

"He just needs the team to win big titles, like the Champions League. If he wins the Champions League with Paris he can be the best player in the world.

"He doesn't need to change clubs for this."

Eight weeks is an awfully long time in football.

When the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League was made on December 17, Jose Mourinho was in charge of Manchester United and had presided over just two wins in the club's last eight fixtures.

A 3-1 loss to Liverpool less than 24 hours earlier left United 19 points adrift of their rivals in the Premier League. Optimism was scant at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel's then-unbeaten PSG side boasted a 10-point advantage at the Ligue 1 summit, with two games in hand, and they had entered the Champions League draw having topped a group that included Liverpool and Napoli.

Tuchel declared himself "neither satisfied nor unsatisfied" at his team being pitted against United in the first round of the knockout stages, yet, privately at least, he must have felt there was little to fear about a team lacking identity and fight.

Then, on December 18, United's hierarchy pulled the trigger, sacking Mourinho and changing the course of their campaign.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was handed the reins until the end of the season and a revitalised United side reeled off eight straight wins in all competitions, including victories at Tottenham and Arsenal.

The United side PSG will face in Tuesday's first leg is now a different beast. They are unbeaten in 11 games under Solskjaer and key figures like Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, seemingly subdued and stifled under the previous regime, are playing with the type of confidence, freedom and attacking verve that may cause Tuchel to reconsider his view on whether he is satisfied with drawing United or not.

On the other hand, PSG are still 10 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with two games in hand, but the air of invincibility that surrounded them is no longer there, even for teams in France.

Guingamp shocked the capital club in the Coupe de la Ligue last month and after Lyon handed PSG their first league loss of the campaign on February 3, Tuchel's side needed extra time to overcome third-tier Villefranche in the Coupe de France last week.

The world's most expensive footballer was absent for the Lyon and Villefranche games and Tuchel will be without Neymar for both legs of the United tie too, while the club's record scorer Edinson Cavani could also be missing on Tuesday due to a hip injury.

Solskjaer, and Mourinho before him, might have worried about facing the man who scored five times in the group stages but PSG's attack appears far less daunting without Neymar.

There is a mental aspect for PSG to overcome too. They have not progressed past the Champions League quarter-finals in any of the previous six seasons and Tuchel knows that it is on the continent, rather than domestically, where he will be judged.

The Champions League may hold the key to Solskjaer's long-term future too. The man who delivered the trophy with his last-gasp goal in the final 20 years ago has aspirations to be the permanent boss at United and knocking out PSG would be a significant boost for his CV.

That CV did not even include the job title 'Manchester United manager' when this draw was made, but these two clubs are evidence of how swiftly the footballing landscape can alter.

Manchester United have "a team to win something" according to goalkeeper David de Gea, who said his team-mates are raring to take on the challenge posed by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

The French champions travel to Old Trafford on Tuesday to face a United side unbeaten in their 11 games in all competitions under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Brazilian forward Neymar will miss the game with a foot injury and Edinson Cavani is also a major doubt but De Gea insisted the visitors would still be favourites. 

He told Telefoot: "This will be a very intense game. They're the favourites, but we'll be very motivated.

"We all want to play this game and win it. It will be very tight!"

De Gea picked out Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial as key players in United's revival this season, and backed the Red Devils to challenge for silverware as they compete in the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League over the next three months.

Pogba scored twice in United's 3-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage, netting either side of Martial's ninth league goal of the season.

"We have a team to win something," said De Gea.

"Paul Pogba is fundamental to us. Anthony Martial is unstoppable and we're all working to go to the finals."

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu played down a possible return to the club for Neymar, saying he had not spoken to the Paris Saint-Germain star.

Neymar, 27, has been linked with a return to the LaLiga champions, the club he left for PSG in 2017.

But Bartomeu said he had not spoken to Neymar, or the Brazilian's father, as Barca prepare for next season.

"I have never spoken to them, nor have the father or player called me to return to Barca. They have not called," he told El Partidazo de COPE.

"We are preparing for next season and the name of Neymar is not on the table.

"We are talking about a PSG player and I do not think that PSG want to get rid of a player like him."

Sidelined with a foot injury, Neymar has scored 20 goals in 23 games this season.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel does not want Kylian Mbappe to try to take on Neymar's responsibilities with the Brazilian out injured.

Neymar, 27, is set to be sidelined until April after suffering a foot injury last month.

In two games without their injured star, PSG crushed Rennes before losing their first Ligue 1 match of the season to Lyon on Sunday.

Tuchel said he saw no reason for Mbappe – who has scored 22 goals in 25 games this season – to change his role with Neymar sidelined.

"I usually prefer Kylian to be the finisher – when he's our last line of attack against the opposing defence," he told a news conference.

"He's incredibly dangerous because of his pace and his hunger to score goals.

"I don't want him to take on Neymar's responsibilities of providing assists and keeping possession in the last few yards.

"We have players that are able to do it – players who can support Kylian and Edi [Cavani] and provide them with the right pass.

"Both strikers need to be the finishers, that's the most important thing."

PSG visit third-tier outfit Villefranche in the Coupe de France on Wednesday.

Marco Verratti could return to action for Paris Saint-Germain in Wednesday's Coupe de France match against Villefranche, head coach Thomas Tuchel has confirmed.

The Italy international resumed training on Monday after missing the last three matches with an ankle injury.

Tuchel is prepared to play the midfielder in the cup trip against their third-tier opponents, provided he comes through their latest practice session unscathed.

"We have to decide today [Tuesday] if it's possible for him to play again," he told a news conference.

PSG will definitely be without Neymar, who is out for 10 weeks with a foot injury, and his absence coincided with their first Ligue 1 defeat of the season against Lyon last Sunday.

Despite missing the Brazil star's creativity, Tuchel has ruled out asking Kylian Mbappe to adapt his game and try to fill in for his team-mate.

"I don't want Kylian to play like Neymar and keep the ball," he said. "Kylian is incredibly dangerous in the final move and I want him to stay that way."

Tuchel expects his senior players to make sure PSG do not show any complacency against Villefranche, who knocked out last season's surprise finalists Les Herbiers in the last round.

"I expect a match with great domination and possession of the ball. They're going to want to play on the counter-attack. We must play with seriousness and vigilance," he said.

"It's a decisive match, we definitely want to win and it's our responsibility to win.

"We have experienced players like Gianluigi Buffon, Dani Alves and Thiago [Silva]. They play every match with the same state of mind."

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar said he had wished for a "new metatarsal" in an emotional speech at a celebration of his 27th birthday.

Neymar was ruled out for 10 weeks after hobbling off in a 2-0 Coupe de France victory over Strasbourg on January 23, meaning he will miss both legs of the Champions League last-16 tie with Manchester United.

The injury was sustained on the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, which he also damaged in February 2018 when he was sidelined for the remainder of that domestic season.

Neymar sported red crutches at an event to mark his birthday and was tearful when he addressed those in attendance.

"What I wanted the most as a birthday present today is a new metatarsal, so I could be on the field fighting and doing what I love the most, which is playing soccer," he said.

"It's been very hard to be on crutches all this time. Every athlete knows how hard that is.

"They [PSG team-mates] are giving me all the strength possible to help me return as soon as possible."

PSG suffered their first Ligue 1 defeat of the season in just their second match since Neymar sustained his injury, going down 2-1 to Lyon on Sunday.

However, they remain 10 points clear of Lille at the top of the table and with two games in hand.

Kylian Mbappe is "not worried" about facing Manchester United in the Champions League after Paris Saint-Germain suffered their first Ligue 1 defeat of the season.

PSG's unbeaten start to the league campaign was ended by hosts Lyon at 20 matches following a 2-1 loss on Sunday.

Ligue 1 holders PSG led through Angel Di Maria but the defending champions were pegged back in the absence of superstar Neymar as Moussa Dembele and Nabil Fekir struck for Lyon.

Mbappe, however, has no concerns ahead of PSG's trip to Old Trafford for their Champions League last-16 opening leg against United on February 12.

"I don't know if the defeat was deserved. In the first half it was deserved, but after half-time, we still dominated," Mbappe said after United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and assistant Mike Phelan watched in the stands.

"We started well. We have hurt Lyon, who let the storm pass before starting to hit top gear. Lyon had opportunities and scored. We also had situations. After half-time, we put them back in the game. They scored on the only occasion they had, a penalty."

Mbappe continued: "We have not realised our many opportunities. I'm not worried about the Champions League match. We must take it match by match and wait for the Champions League. 

"It feels good to play matches like that. Facing teams that play is the best way to prepare for the upcoming deadlines. It's up to us to win. 

"The goal was to remain undefeated and we will try not to lose again by the end of the season. It's complicated, yes, to play without Neymar. You must accept it. Last season, he was also injured and it would be nice not to make the same mistakes, otherwise it would mean that we did not learn anything."

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