Neymar finally speaks out on his weight gain after £190m star hit with criticism
Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has hit back at criticism relating to his alleged weight gain and lifestyle.
The Brazil international is currently recovering from injury having sustained ankle ligament damage towards the end of PSG's Ligue 1 win at Saint-Etienne in November.
Neymar, 29, left the pitch on a stretcher before later being spotted on crutches – and is not expected to return to action until February at the earliest.
The forward has been the victim of booing from PSG fans in recent times and has faced criticism regarding his physical shape and lifestyle away from the pitch.
In the five seasons that have followed, Neymar has only participated in 130 of the total of 246 games played by PSG – a paltry 53 per cent.
Former PSG winger and France international Jerome Rothen is among those who have criticised the Brazilian forward’s physical shape and discipline.
Rothen said: "He has put on weight without stopping, he is growing older and he does not have a suitable way of living.
"How can we accept that from a player, who has not yet played 50 percent of the games since the start of the season and who has, compared to other years, a lower goal-to-assist ratio?
"When you grow older than 30, your body does not recover as well as it did at 25 and when you do foolish things you put everything at risk."
Neymar has faced criticism in Brazil too, where journalist Fabio Sormani also questioned Neymar’s lifestyle compared to other forwards who had been part of the international setup.
Sormani said: "Neymar does not take his career seriously.
"He is not focused like Hulk, for example, who trains while he is on holiday.
"Do you see Neymar going to the gym or to the nutritionist?
"Vinicius Jr is going to win a Ballon d'Or and Neymar is not going to."
Neymar has now appeared to respond to the criticism from both France and Brazil, by showing his recovery process from injury while laughing off the suggestions he is not serious about his condition.
Neymar uploaded a story onto his Instagram account in which he can be seen with an oxygen mask in his hyperbaric chamber.
The Brazilian added the words to the image: "How good it is not to be professional and not take care of yourself, right?"
The 29-year-old added: "To be right at night, you have to take care of yourself first."
The Brazilian talent has faced setback after setback in Paris but is hopeful he can now recover from these problems and steer clear of injuries.