LUSEIL, Qatar — Neymar was pictured in tears on Brazil’s bench following his team’s 2-0 victory over Serbia to start his World Cup campaign in Qatar on Thursday, after suffering a right ankle injury.
Brazilians who are looking for a sixth World Cup trophy will now have to wait 24 to 48 hours to see if Neymar will play in the tournament again this year, according to team doctors.
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Neymar was at the center of Brazil’s electric attack as a Tottenham striker. Richarlison scored twice, including a stunning second, but Selesao they now have some nerve-wracking days ahead as they wait for more news on their star player’s fitness.
The Brazilian striker was subjected to nine fouls by the Serbian team throughout the game and was replaced Anthony in the 80th minute after spending some time on the ground at the Lusail Iconic stadium after a hard tackle Nikola Milenkovic.
Team coaches treated Neymar with ice packs on the bench, and after the victory, he was seen limping towards the Brazil dressing room.
In a statement to the media after the game, Brazil’s doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said it was too early to judge the severity of Neymar’s injury.
“Neymar has a right ankle injury, a direct injury,” Lasmar said. “Due to a Serbian player’s knee strike, we immediately started treatment on the bench.
“He continues to be a physiotherapist, but now he needs to wait 24 to 48 hours to get a more accurate estimate. MRI is not scheduled, but tomorrow we will conduct a new assessment. We need to wait and we cannot make any premature comments.
“He felt this pain throughout the game but decided to stay on the pitch to help his team for 11 minutes after the injury. It’s amazing that he did it.”
However, when asked if he was considering a replacement, Brazil coach Tite said he still believed Neymar would play in Qatar again.
“He stayed because of the two goals we scored, even with an ankle injury, because the team needed him,” Tite said after the match. “In two chances and the chance he was in, which [was decisive], his ability to overcome pain. In both goals, he already felt it.
“You can be sure that Neymar will play in the World Cup. I am absolutely sure of it. He will play in the World Cup.”
Neymar later posted message on his twitter account without any reference to his status or injury.
“It’s a tough game, but it’s very important to win. Congratulations team, first step taken… 6 more to go,” wrote Neymar.
The 30-year-old was visibly upset as he approached the bench and appeared to be in tears before covering his face with his shirt.
While no final prediction has yet been made as to the extent of his injury, the anxious pending diagnosis is a reminder of the injury that forced Neymar out of Brazil in 2014, when a vertebral fracture following a call from Colombia’s Camilo Zuniga ended his competition for the quarter-finals.
Teammates are also concerned about his fitness and Anthony said: “It’s worrying, right? But we don’t know what happened yet. We know how important he is, like a star.”
“The most important thing for us is that he is 100% ready for the next match,” Richarlison said.
Neymar has yet to win a major title with the national team, although he helped Brazil win the 2013 Confederations Cup and their first Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
With 75 goals for the national team, he is two less The firstperformance record.
The article used information from the Associated Press.