Brazil's national team made an impressive start to the World Cup against Serbia, but the strong performance of the Seleção was severely tarnished: Superstar Neymar had to be injured. Now the favorite fears and hopes for the diagnosis.
Late that night, Neymar hobbled through the catacombs of Lusail Stadium wearing gold headphones. He kept his head down, the Brazilian football superstar did not want to answer questions. The big questions now are: how bad is the 30-year-old's ankle injury? And is he even threatened with losing the World Cup? At least national coach Tite doesn't think so. "We are confident that he can continue playing at this World Cup. He will continue this World Cup!" announced the 61-year-old defiantly after the 2-0 win against Serbia.
"I hope Neymar recovers as soon as possible so we can have him back at 100 per cent for the next game," said doubles scorer Richarlison. The fact that the Tottenham Hotspur striker had scored a magic goal in the opening win was almost forgotten due to Neymar's injury. After a pass from Vinicius Júnior, he put the ball in front of himself in the penalty area and then kicked it into the net with a side kick. Then there was great cheering at the Seleção. Only the worries about Neymar were even greater later.
At the home World Cup in 2014, Neymar's injury shocked the whole country: in the quarter-finals, the superstar suffered a fractured vertebra after a rude foul by Colombian Juan Zuniga and was out for the rest of the tournament. Brazil were eliminated in the semifinals by a traumatic 7-1 loss to the eventual world champions.