Neymar is nursing an ankle injury at the World Cup

Neymar is nursing an ankle injury at the World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Brazil star Neymar underwent tests and received treatment at the team hotel after suffering a right leg injury in Friday’s 2-0 World Cup opener against Serbia. The team did not release further details about his injury.

Neymar sprained his ankle in the second half of Thursday’s game against Serbia. He sat on the bench and walked off the field on his way to the locker room after the game.

“It was a good game, but it was important to win,” Neymar said on his social media, leaving the Lucille stadium without speaking to the media. “Congratulations team, first step up. Six more to go.”

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In an Instagram story after the game, Neymar posted a text that mentioned the need for “faith”.

“It’s about believing that everything will be okay despite the chaos. It’s about being sure that the best is yet to come. It’s about knowing that everything has its time,” Matan said.

Brazilian coach Tate has already expressed optimism about Neymar’s situation.

“You can be sure Neymar will still play in this World Cup,” he said after the game. “I’m sure of it.”

Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said after the game that it was too early to determine the extent of the injury. He said they started treating the injury when Neymar left the field and continued after the game.

Neymar was substituted in the 79th minute after sustaining an ankle injury during a tackle by Serbian defender Nikola Milenkovic, around 10 minutes later.

Neymar had already been tackled several times during the game and was hugged on a few other occasions. He was fouled nine times, the most in a World Cup group stage after the first round.

“We’ll stay happy, that’s what characterizes this team,” Brazil goalkeeper Alisson said. “These dire circumstances will only strengthen this group.”

Brazil’s next match is against Switzerland on Monday. The five-time world champions conclude their group stage campaign against Cameroon on December 2. Brazil lead Group G with Switzerland, which opened with a win over Cameroon.

If Neymar does not play, his replacement will likely be Rodrigo, who came on as a second-half substitute against Serbia on Thursday.

The 30-year-old Neymar was also injured in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when he ended the match due to a back injury in the quarter-finals against Colombia. He had to be carried off the field on a stretcher, and Brazil lost 7–1 to Germany in the semi-finals.

Neymar’s right leg has caused him problems in the past, part of a series of injuries he has suffered since the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Another right leg strain caused him to miss the 2019 Copa America, which Brazil won.

30-year-old Neymar has won a major championship with the national team. He helped the “Seleção” win the 2013 Confederations Cup and the Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

With 75 goals for the national team, he is two shy of Pele’s goalscoring record.

Another player who suffered a broken right leg on Thursday was defender Danilo, although Lesmer said the injury was not serious.

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