In the last group game against Cameroon, Brazil coach Tite is resting his regular staff - and now has to accept two failures. Striker Gabriel Jesus and defender Alex Telles both injured their knees. It is still unclear whether Neymar can appear again in the World Cup round of 16.
The Brazilian media had already reported it in advance, and the official confirmation followed on Saturday afternoon German time. The Seleção will be without Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles en route to their sixth World Cup title. After detailed investigations, the Brazilian Football Association announced that the knee injuries suffered in the 0-1 draw against Cameroon in the last group game ruled out further participation in the tournament in Qatar.
Both had started against Cameroon but had to be substituted early. Sevilla FC full-back Alex Telles cried bitter tears. The 29-year-old, reported "O Globo", may have to have an operation and then be out for a longer period of time. Gabriel Jesus, who is the leader of the English Premier League with Arsenal, is said to be absent for a maximum of four weeks. The national team is currently in contact with both clubs as to whether the footballers can stay with the Seleção for the rest of the tournament.
The regulations of the world association FIFA rule out a subsequent nomination, so coach Tite has to plan with the remaining 24 professionals for the round of 16 on Monday (8 p.m. / ZDF, MagentaTV and in the live ticker on ntv.de) against South Korea. Adenor Leonardo Bachi, his real name, had rested large parts of his permanent staff against Cameroon. It is unclear whether superstar Neymar will be fit again in time.
The 30-year-old injured his ankle in the opening game, the 2-0 win over Serbia, and hasn't played a minute since. "I really hope he comes back to the team then," said Richarlison, whose two goals laid the foundation for Brazil's group victory. "Everyone has seen in the last two games how much we miss him." With only three goals in the preliminary round, the record world champion had the weakest record since 1978 in the statistics. Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar was only cautiously optimistic about Neymar - he first had to see how the attacking artist managed to return to training with the ball.