Tears and a thick ankle: how bad is it at Neymar?

Will Brazil pay dearly for their at times impressive 2-0 opening win over Serbia? The record world champion is worried about superstar Neymar. Late in the evening, the team doctor gave the first all-clear.

Swollen right ankle: Neymar had to be substituted against Serbia.

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He made three shots on goal and three assists, collected 81 ball contacts, only 33 of his 42 passes came through, and the tackle rate of 45 percent should not have satisfied him either. However, Neymar had other concerns on Thursday night at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. Brazil’s superstar brought tears to his eyes when the South Americans were 2-0 up – because he had to be substituted for Antony after 79 minutes due to injury.

The right ankle was cooled with ice, later pictures of a badly swollen ankle surfaced. How badly did it really hit the Seleçao’s main attacking player? In any case, Neymar’s reaction does not bode well. Neymar had to take a total of nine fouls, and the Serbs took on him, sometimes violently, in a number of tough duels.

Later in the evening, Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar reported a sprained right ankle. “We immediately started treatment while he was still on the bench and we continued treatment in the dressing room,” Lasmar said. “We now have to wait 24 to 48 hours before we can say more. We don’t have an MRI appointment yet.” National coach Tite expressed optimism at the press conference that Neymar could continue playing the World Cup.

Brazil’s reservists shuffle their hooves

The topic of the coming days will be whether further tournament appearances by the dribbling artist are in danger. On Thursday, however, Neymar was overshadowed by another Brazilian attacker anyway: Richarlison became the match winner with his brace. The Tottenham Hotspur striker followed up the first goal after 62 minutes, which Neymar helped initiate, with a real magic goal. Eleven minutes after the lead, Richarlison brilliantly took the ball with him and executed a side kick.

Probably the most important group game awaits Brazil on Monday (5 p.m., LIVE! on kicker). The Swiss, upcoming opponents of the Seleçao, also won their opening match. Ex-Gladbacher Breel Embolo (now AS Monaco) scored the golden goal in the 1-0 win over Cameroon.

Whether Neymar can participate remains to be seen. Possible representatives will shuffle their hooves anyway: international top stars came off the bench against Serbia with Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Antony (Manchester United), Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli (both Arsenal). There is no doubt about the depth of Brazil’s squad. But neither does Neymar’s quality as a difference player.

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