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Neymar hailed French player of the year

PSG's Neymar, poses as he arrives at the UNFP (Union of French Professional Footballers) ceremony, in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PSG’s Neymar, poses as he arrives at the UNFP (Union of French Professional Footballers) ceremony, in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Neymar was named as France’s player of the year at an awards ceremony in Paris on Sunday, and later brushed away questions over his future.

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar took the prize despite missing the last three months of the season due to injury.

The world’s most expensive player scored 19 goals in just 20 league games for PSG before suffering a foot injury in February that required surgery in his native Brazil.

He has not played since, and only returned to France from his homeland at the start of this month, fuelling speculation that he could seek to leave the club after just one season.

“I am very touched and very happy with our season. It is an honour. Without my teammates, I would never have received this award,” said the 26-year-old, who collected the prize from his illustrious compatriot Ronaldo.

Neymar, who joined in PSG’s Ligue 1 title celebrations on Saturday night, refused to discuss his future after collecting his award.

“We talk about these things every time the transfer window comes around. I don’t want to talk about anything at the moment,” he said.

“Everyone knows why I came here, what my objectives are. Right now, my objective is the World Cup, not talking about transfers.

“I spend my whole life, every transfer window, talking about it. It’s a bit annoying.”

Neymar beat two of his PSG teammates to the prize, voted for by his fellow players — Edinson Cavani, Ligue 1’s leading scorer this season with 28 goals, and Kylian Mbappe were also nominees, along with Marseille winger Florian Thauvin.

Neymar was signed from Barcelona for a world-record 222 million euros ($264 million) last August, and helped PSG on their way to a clean sweep of the domestic trophies.

However, his injury appeared to cost Unai Emery’s team dear in their Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid — he was unable to play in the second leg, and PSG lost 5-2 on aggregate.

He is hoping to be back to full fitness in time to lead Brazil at the World Cup in Russia, which starts in a month’s time.

Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi insisted on Saturday that there was no chance Neymar would be leaving.

“I am 2000 percent sure he will stay,” Al-Khelaifi said, rejecting talk of a transfer to Real Madrid.

“The Spanish media have been talking since October. I don’t respond to rumours, I don’t have the time. But I am sure he will be a Paris Saint-Germain player.” (Agence France-Presse)

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