Thierry Henry has admitted that he is worried about Neymar’s mental health as the Paris Saint-Germain star continues to underwhelm with his performances in 2021-22.
Neymar is enduring arguably his worst season yet in a PSG shirt, with only four goals and four assists to his name from 18 appearances in all competitions.
The Brazilian has missed another 18 matches due to familiar injury problems, and former France international Henry is concerned about his psychological state.
What’s been said?
Neymar’s latest poor showing came as PSG slumped to a 1-0 loss at Nice in the battle between the top two teams in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Henry, who also played for Arsenal and Barcelona at the height of his playing career, thinks the struggling 30-year-old forward has been crying out for help during his most recent media interviews.
“When you analyse an action and he doesn’t position himself properly, okay, that’s a fact and it must be said. Yes, he is a little worse than he has been, but there are reasons,” Henry told L’Equipe.
“Neymar has often talked in his recent interviews about his well-being, about the pressure, so my first thought is: ‘Is he ok?’. It’s not about that he no longer does nutmegs, sombreros, or about the fact that he doesn’t beat people with his pace anymore.
“He talks, but can you hear him? He’s asking for help – there are things happening in his head, just like any other human being.”
Neymar’s recent comments
The main interview that Henry appears to be referencing is one that Neymar gave to DAZN last year, during which he said that he is planning to retire from international football in the near future.
“I think it’s my last World Cup [in 2022],” he said. “I see it as my last because I don’t know if I have the strength of mind to deal with football anymore.”
Neymar has also suggested that he is growing tired of the intense demands of the European game at club level, opening the door to a potential foray into MLS.
“Their season is shorter, so I’d get three months’ vacation.”