The Brazilian was injured on November 29, 2021 and was ruled out for two months. He was expected to undergo rehab and fitness in Paris, but PSG have now allowed him to stay in Brazil until January 9.
He has been spotted attending parties and playing in poker tournaments over the last few weeks. Such incidents have not gone down well with Rothen, who has criticized both the player and the club.
Speaking about Neymar's late return, the former PSG man said:
"Late returns, we have all been there when you play a lot over the first part of a season. I will not even bother talking about the players returning to training 48 hours before a game. If they get by, as they should, it is no problem. If not, that is professional misconduct. However, hearing about Neymar - it is a total joke. Not him alone but the club as well. An absolute sketch."
Rothen added about Neymar's poor attitude:
"How is it acceptable from such a player who has played 50% of games this season? He is less efficient, getting older, puts on weight when he is out of action and does not lead a healthy lifestyle. When you are over 30, you do not recover like you did at 25."
"It is unacceptable from the club," he said. "Once again, I blame the sporting director as he manages the sporting side of things. Also, his hands are not tied. We must stop thinking that the leaders, the president, or the coach stop him from doing this or that. He decides everything and he approved Neymar staying in Brazil until Jan. 9 for treatment."
Rothen urges PSG to learn from other elite clubs in Europe
PSG's laid-back attitude towards their star players has been a cause for concern. It has also seen several managers part ways with the club. Rothen has urged the PSG hierarchy to learn from their counterparts in Europe on how to run a club professionally.
"You say that you are the sporting director (Leonardo) for one of Europe's biggest clubs and that you want to win the Champions League. In terms of the means, that is no problem. Compare him after his recent spell in Italy with Germany or England and see for yourself. How can there be so many absentees when returning to action? That never happens in other leagues."
"You never have one of your key players treated abroad and less in his own country. Neymar is on holiday. It is not normal, and PSG still suffers through this. Neymar's social media bullshit, poker, parties, and new year stuff. Now he is going to make comeback videos for us doing weights and say that he is getting ready to come back on form in February."
Neymar, who will turn 30 in a month's time, has scored three goals and provided as many assists in 14 appearances in all competitions this season.