Nightmare year for Neymar just got worse

A nightmare year for Brazil's troubled Neymar just got worse. A new injury has ruled him out of Brazil's team for the Copa America this month, meaning he has lost the chance to redeem a reputation damaged by controversy on and off the field for club and country.

The Paris Saint-Germain star's woes include lengthy injury layoffs that reduced his effectiveness on the field, two separate suspensions for insulting a referee and hitting a fan, a million-dollar tax probe and allegations of rape which the player vehemently denies.

- Howls of derision -

Brazil are knocked out of the World Cup in the quarter-finals by Belgium on July 6. Neymar triggers howls of derision from crowds watching on a big screen in Rio. He is mercilessly mocked on social media for feigning injury after relatively harmless tackles, writhing on the turf in apparent agony.

"I wouldn't go as far as to say I didn't want to play again but, I didn't want to see a ball, or to see any more football played," the 27-year-old told AFP in July after the disappointment in Russia.

- 'Sensational' -

He scores a hat-trick for Paris Saint-Germain in a 6-1 thumping of Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League group stage on October 3, a performance described as "sensational" by coach Thomas Tuchel.

- Ballon d'Or blip -

He fails to make the Ballon d'Or top 10 for the first time since 2013, finishing in 12th place as midfielder Luka Modric takes the award for leading Croatia to the World Cup final.

- Injury blow -

PSG are leading Strasbourg 1-0 on January 23 in the second round of the French Cup when Neymar limps off with a right injury similar to the one he suffered 13 months earlier. His return is set for the Champions League quarter-finals but the Parisians have to face a resurgent Manchester United in the last 16 before then.

- Carnival fun -

Despite still recovering from the metatarsal fracture he's filmed and photographed dancing at both Salvador and Rio carnivals in early March.

- Referee rage -

Forced to watch in the stands as PSG are knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester United on March 6, Neymar rants at match officials on Instagram. UEFA hand him a three-match ban, ruling him out of PSG's opening fixtures in next season's European campaign.

- Tax probe -

El Mundo reports Spanish tax authorities are investigating the bonus he earned when he extended his Barcelona contract in 2017. Officials are pobing whether the Brazilian paid tax related to his extra payments and his world record 222-million-euro transfer to PSG.

- Spectator rage -

PSG are beaten on penalties in the French Cup final by Rennes on April 28. He scores his side's second goal but lashes out a supporter as he collects his runners-up medal at the Stade de France. He is banned for a further three games. Brazilian media brand him a "coward".

- Neymar gone -

He heads back to Brazil to prepare for the Copa America after he claims to have been given permission to miss the league French champions' final game of the season on May 24. Coach Tuchel denies he gave the green light.

- Captaincy gone -

Four days later Brazil boss Tite strips him of the captaincy, handing it to PSG team-mate Dani Alves.

- Rape allegation -

According to a complaint filed with Sao Paolo police, Neymar is accused of "using violence to have sex with the victim without her consent."

Neymar denies raping the woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her at a Paris hotel, with his father claiming he is the victim of blackmail.

- More injury woes -

Neymar suffers right knee ligament damage and hobbles off the field early on in Brazil's 2-0 friendly win against Qatar in Brasilia on Wednesday June 5. The Brazilian Football Federation say the injury will rule him out of the June 15-July 7 Copa America.

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