Crying as he sat on the bench, Neymar was later seen limping with a swollen right ankle when he left the stadium following Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Serbia in the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Thursday, November 24.
Neymar, according to Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, sprained his ankle. Doctors began treating him in the final minutes of the Brazil-Serbia game at the Lusail Stadium. They taped ice around his foot while he was on the bench, and physiotherapy was also given to him.
Lasmar, in an Associated Press (AP) report, said they will schedule a test if needed. Neymar is under observation.
The 30-year-old Neymar was fouled nine times in their game against Serbia and got injured in the second half. He remained on the field for 11 minutes before asking to be replaced in the 79th minute.
Brazil coach Tite said Neymar overcame the injury because the team needed him.
“I didn’t even see that he had been injured. He just kept playing,” Tite said as quoted by AP.
The Serbians were all eyes on Neymar, tackling him hard a few times during the game, which left him grimacing and limping before having to leave the field.
Neymar was the most fouled player on the field.
Tite said he’s confident that Neymar will continue playing at the World Cup, although he claimed that it was still early to discuss the extent of his injury.
Neymar Sr., Neymar’s dad, said: “Neymar is fine, everything will be fine.” But he won’t be playing against Switzerland as he will continue his physical therapy.
In the 2014 World Cup held at his home turf in Brazil, Neymar also suffered a back injury in their quarterfinal clash against Colombia and was carried on a stretcher off the field. His absence then badly hurt Brazil’s chances as it lost to Germany in the semifinals.
Although Neymar helped Brazil win the 2013 Confederations Cup and its first Olympic gold medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, he has yet to win a major title for the national team.
The Brazilian football star, who already has 75 goals for the national team, is two goals short of Pelé’s scoring record.
Richarlison shines as Neymar went down
Brazil striker Richarlison said, “The most important thing for us is to have him at 100 percent for the next match.
Richarlison, who knocked in Brazil’s two goals for the win against the Serbians, was inconsolable as tears streamed down his face. He had every reason to, considering that he was on crutches when Tite announced his FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 squad. He shed tears, sweat, and blood to barge his way into the national team.
In a FIFA+ report, Richarlison recalled, “I was really, really nervous. The World Cup is the dream of dreams. I was so scared.”
The match was in a 0-0 standoff after an hour when the London-based attacker reacted to a rebound to hit from close range and 11 minutes later, his spectacular bicycle-kick execution sealed the match, making him an instant Brazil hero.
Antony, as quoted by FIFA+, said: “I’m so happy for him. He’s a great guy. He deserves it. That’s Richarlison. You give him a chance, he scores. You should see him in training. He shoots from anywhere and everywhere, all sorts of angles. He’s an incredible player.”