Neymar denies breaking social distancing rules in Brazil, says he’s in quarantine with friends

Paris Saint-Germain superstar striker Neymar has fired back at criticism that he isn’t following social distancing guidelines after returning to his native Brazil from France, posting pictures of him interacting closely with his friends. The former Barcelona man recently published photos on Instagram of him playing foot-volley with friends, sunbathing and more, and felt the need to address the situation. 

Neymar’s spokesman said in a statement that the people in the photos traveled with him from Paris to Brazil and were in quarantine with him. Here’s one of the images:

“The photograph … shows Neymar alongside people who are in quarantine with him, people who traveled with him from Paris to Brazil,” his spokesman said in a statement to Globo.

“Neymar invited those people to spend the 14 days in quarantine there before joining their respective families.”

The statement said he’s only been visited by his son, while also avoiding interaction with other relatives like his mom, grandmother and sister.

“The house where the player is fulfilling quarantine is completely isolated, and allows peace and serenity for him to continue training,” the statement read.

“Neymar continues to do his daily workout, to prevent injury and maintain his fitness, with his coach Ricardo Rosa. [He is] looking forward to the end of this sad moment for humanity and the return to work that will follow.”

The World Health Organization suggests people stay at least one meter (three feet) from other people, especially anyone who is coughing or sneezing, as the virus can be transferred via small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth. 

Across world soccer, numerous players, managers and others have been infected with the virus. Nobody from Neymar’s club, PSG, has been confirmed as testing positive for COVID-19. The team last played against Borussia Dortmund on March 11 in Paris behind closed doors. PSG won the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals 3-2 on aggregate.

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