Neymar set to attend French Cup final in Paris

Neymar will attend Tuesday’s French Cup final between Paris Saint-Germain and minnows Les Herbiers, PSG captain Thiago Silva said.

“He is fully motivated but sad that he can’t train with us. He will be there to support us tomorrow at the Stade de France and I think he’ll be happy,” Silva told reporters at a press conference on Monday ahead of the game.

Neymar returned to Paris on Friday to continue his recovery, two months after undergoing surgery on a broken bone in his foot in his native Brazil.

He is unlikely to play again for PSG this season, his focus now on being ready in time for Brazil’s World Cup bid in June and July.

Silva added: “Neymar is doing well. It’s clear he’s making progress. He’s already working in the gym.”

PSG are overwhelming favourites to beat third-tier strugglers Les Herbiers in Tuesday’s game at the Stade de France, having already won the Ligue 1 title and the League Cup this season.

They were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid in the last 16, shortly after Neymar suffered his injury in a game against Marseille.

It would take a shock of seismic proportions for Qatar-backed PSG, even without the still injured Neymar, to slip up against a team of modest players struggling to stay in France’s partly amateur third division.

PSG are fresh from winning the Ligue 1 title and are hoping to secure a clean sweep of the domestic trophies when they run out at the Stade de France for a game that will be attended by President Emmanuel Macron.

Revenue of almost 500 million euros ($596m) last year makes them the seventh-richest club in the world according to Deloitte’s latest Football Money League.

That helped them splash out a world-record 222 million euros on Neymar last year and commit to spending 180 million euros to buy Kylian Mbappe from Monaco.

With average gates of around 1,300, Les Herbiers’ annual budget is around two million euros and prevents them from offering more than 3,000 euros a month to their players.

The figures suggest PSG will easily win the French Cup for the fourth year running, and record 12th time overall, but Les Herbiers are not worrying about that.

“That is not how we should look at this match,” insisted their coach Stephane Masala as he spoke to the press on Monday at the Stade de France.

“I am a young coach and I am here to learn. I hope the players are there to learn and I hope PSG’s great players will give us a lesson. We won’t be an embarrassment, even if we get hammered.”

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