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Arthur: I made a mistake going to Neymar’s party

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The player says he’s ready to play 90 minutes now after recovering from injury

Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Arthur has asked for forgiveness for going to Neymar’s birthday party in Paris the day before Barcelona were set to play el clásico in the Copa del Rey. Arthur was already in pain, but traveled anyway. The next day, he played against Real Madrid in a 1-1 first leg draw, but he reported ending the match with a muscle injury that made him unavailable at a crucial juncture of the season.

“I believe that I made a mistake going to the party,” he said in a pre-match press conference. “It was something I really wanted to do, but I assume the responsibility. I knew what I was doing, but I ask for forgiveness if I bothered anyone. My teammates have helped me. We have to move on.”

The midfielder missed 5 matches, including the 0-0 first leg draw with Lyon in the UEFA Champions League and the return of the Copa del Rey, which Barcelona won 3-0.

Arthur started both of Barcelona’s previous two matches, but he was substituted off in both.

“They all helped me, coaches, players, even club executives. It was a painful moment. I know I have a lot to improve. I feel better and ready to play 90 minutes.”

He’s expected to start in the second leg of the Catalans’ clash with Lyon.