Neymar returns to Brazil ahead of World Cup, will miss PSG finale vs. Caen
PARIS -- Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil superstar Neymar's club season is over after he returned to his homeland on Thursday to continue his preparations for this summer's World Cup in Russia.
Neymar, 26, returned to Paris from South America in time to see his teammates lift the Coupe de France after a 2-0 win over semi-professional third-tier side Les Herbiers last week.
He was also present for PSG's end of season celebrations after a 2-0 defeat to Rennes closed out the campaign at Parc des Princes, as well as a PSG Foundation gala dinner -- where he was outbid for a King Kong statue by Kylian Mbappe -- and an open training session.
However, the former Barcelona player did not train with his teammates on Wednesday, but he did make an appearance late on for the benefit of the children present.
PSG revealed on Thursday that Neymar trained one final time with his teammates before leaving for Brazil.
"Neymar partially resumed training with his teammates at Parc des Princes on Thursday and started physical work with the ball," an official club statement read. "His non-availability to face Caen justifies his departure for Brazil on Thursday evening to continue his recovery, which was planned in advance by PSG and the Brazil national team's medical staff."
Therefore, Neymar will not be present for PSG's Ligue 1-ending trip to Caen on Saturday, with new coach Thomas Tuchel to be presented to the press on Sunday evening.
Brazil legend Pele was happy to see Neymar back in training with PSG and took to Twitter to express his joy at the news and excitement ahead of the World Cup in Russia.
"I am very happy with your recovery, Neymar!" wrote Pele. "You will help Brazilians celebrate a lot during this World Cup!"
Neymar now has the friendlies against Croatia and Austria to prepare for the World Cup Group E opener against Switzerland in Rostov-on-Don on June 17.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.