After breaking the fifth metatarsal in his right foot for the second consecutive year, Neymar would be well within his rights to retreat into the rich person’s equivalent of a dark bedroom with the curtains drawn—so, I don’t know, Dubai?
Instead, the now-27-year-old PSG star had to put on a brave face to limp his way into his own (extremely sponsored) birthday party on Monday, surrounded by friends, teammates, various marketing executives for liquid poison, and (crucially) Brazilian promoter David Brazil. Brazil posted a now-deleted clip on his Instagram that featured Neymar breaking down in tears as he tried to joke that he would have liked a new foot for his birthday, while likely cursing the vengeful god that bestowed upon him a body made of glass.
It’s demoralizing that one of the best soccer talents in the world keeps having his body explode in various ways, and it’s understandable that the recurrence of the same injury two seasons in a row would cause Neymar to break down emotionally, particularly when you consider the timing.
Both metatarsal fractures came right as PSG’s primary competition, the Champions League, was beginning to heat up; the French side travels to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the first leg of the round of 16 on Feb. 12. These haven’t been his only poorly timed injuries: A back injury took him out of the 2014 World Cup right before Brazil got curb-stomped by Germany, although that one was admittedly less about Neymar being frail and more about Colombian Juan Zúñiga hitting a flying knee strike directly on the Brazilian’s spine.
While his foot heals, Neymar can take some solace in roasting some of his PSG teammates’ outfits from the birthday party. The always-flamboyant Dani Alves looked like he was plotting to kill John Wick at a quinceañera:
Meanwhile, Marco Verratti looked less like one of the best midfielders in the world and more like a child trying to sneak into a South Beach club:
At least old man Gianluigi Buffon’s still got it.