Neymar, the star of Brazil, seemed unable to hold back his tears on the bench at the end of his team’s victory against Serbia (2-0) at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after being substituted due to a sprained ankle.
The Brazil team doctor confirmed that the striker suffered the injury and will be evaluated on Friday.
“We are confident that Neymar will continue to play in the World Cup,” insisted Brazil’s coach, Tite.
The 30-year-old was substituted in the 80th minute of Thursday’s game after a hard challenge from Nikola Milenkovic.
She sat covering her face while receiving treatment and pictures showed that her right ankle was badly swollen.
“I didn’t see that Neymar was injured, the ability he has to overcome it fooled even me,” Tite said when asked why Neymar wasn’t retired earlier.
Brazil faces Switzerland in their second Group G match on Monday (16:00 GMT).
“Morning [viernes] we will have a new evaluation,” said team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar. “Now we have to wait, we can’t make premature comments.”
The Paris St-Germain striker has suffered several injuries to his right foot in recent years.
He missed the 2019 Copa América after suffering a torn ligament in his right ankle and was sidelined for several weeks in 2021 with a similar injury.
Neymar was fouled nine times during the match against Serbia.
Despite everything, Tite was optimistic.
“He stayed for the two goals we scored still feeling his ankle injury because the team needed him,” the Brazilian coach said after the game.
“You can be sure that Neymar will play the World Cup. I am absolutely sure of that. He will play the World Cup.”
The 30-year-old was visibly distraught as he walked to the substitute bench and appeared to be crying before covering his face with his shirt.
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