Brazil coach Tite said that striker Neymar must be fine to continue in the World Cup, despite leaving the field with a swollen ankle during the 2-0 victory over Serbia on Thursday.
“We are confident that Neymar will continue to play in the World Cup. I did not see Neymar’s injury. He has the ability to overcome that,” Tite told reporters, acknowledging that he was initially unaware of his striker’s injury.
Rodrigo Lasmar, the team doctor, said that he must wait from 24 to 48 hours before assessing Neymar’s injury.
The Paris St Germain forward, the world’s most expensive player following his record 222 million euro ($231 million) move from Barcelona, played a vital role in Brazil’s victory in their opening Group G match in Qatar.
Neymar penetrated into the penalty area to pass the ball to Vinicius Junior, who passed it to Richarlison to score the first goal in the second half.
He was then shown crying as he left the field with a visibly swollen ankle.
This seemed to bring to mind the back injury that kept Neymar from participating in the 2014 World Cup hosted by his country.
A clip was circulated on social networks showing Neymar leaving after his injury.
This looks bad for Neymar can’t afford to lose him early in this World Cup pic.twitter.com/LfzrboQ58E
— FaO (@UTDMaestrro) November 24, 2022
Richarlison, who fired a superb back kick to score Brazil’s second goal, said he had spoken to his team mate to check on his injury.
He said, “It seems that he is suffering from an ankle injury, and I told him the need to put a lot of ice on him to recover as soon as possible, to be 100 percent ready for the next match. When I return to the hotel, I will go and see how he is.”
Richarlison has now scored nine goals in his last seven matches for Brazil which gives him a lot of confidence.
He added, “Just like our coach, Tite, said that I… smell goals! At half-time, I told my teammates that I needed to receive the ball and when it reached me, I would score. And this is what happened.”
He explained, “We achieved a beautiful victory, and now we have six more matches left to achieve our goal.”
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