(Reuters) - Paris St Germain and Brazil forward Neymar says that not knowing when football will be played again is making him anxious.
The 28-year-old is preparing for an eventual return at his home in a gated community in Brazil under the supervision of Ricardo Rosa, his long-standing physical trainer.
Despite Rosa’s best efforts to keep him active with a varied daily routine, Neymar said that absence of football due to the COVID-19 pandemic was weighing on him.
“Not knowing when we will play again is causing anxiety. I miss playing, competing, the atmosphere of the club and my PSG team mates. It’s a real longing for football!” he said on his website.
“I’m sure that the fans want to see everyone back on the pitch, the earlier the better. I hope the decision is made as quickly as possible,” added Neymar, who had scored 18 goals in 22 appearances for PSG before the season was halted in March.
Rosa said that his main job was not to add to the pressure which Neymar is already under.
“You need to understand the environment that this player lives in,” he said. “I try to relieve this by controlling the training load and nutrition. Everything is done so his performance improves and evolves all the time.”
“I try to do vary the methods, volume and intensity of work, dividing them between general exercises and specific training with the ball.”
In physical terms, he said that Neymar was a cut above most players.
“In all those years of working with him, what I would highlight, in the physical part, is that he’s a privileged athlete, always at or above the average for football players,” he said.
“Besides being an agile and quick athlete, he has a lot of stamina. It’s very difficult to find an athlete with these three skills together, but in Neymar’s case he’s outside the curve because he has all three”.
Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar