Neymar and Brazil international teammate, Danilo have been ruled out for the remainder of the World Cup group stages after suffering injuries during their tournament opener.
The Selecao opened up their Group G campaign in style on Thursday evening with a 2-0 victory over Serbia. It looked as though they would be left frustrated but two goals from Tottenham forward Richarlison – including an eye-catching bicycle kick – ensured Tite’s side got off to a winning start.
Despite the result, there were worrying scenes as Neymar was withdrawn in the 80th minute of the clash following a heavy collision with Nikola Milenkovic. He was then pictured in tears on the bench, whilst images of his swollen ankle began to circulate on social media after the match.
Neymar and Danilo both suffered ankle injuries during the second half of their clash against the European side; with Neymar’s forced withdrawal with ten minutes remaining of the match coming as a result of a heavy challenge, while Juventus defender, Danilo completed the game despite the injury.
Brazilian outlet, Globo Esporte, says both players are now set to sit out the next two games as they aim to recover from their respective injuries in time to be fit for the knockout clashes.
Brazil will face Switzerland in their next group-stage clash on Monday before concluding their campaign against Cameroon on Friday. Despite the two absences, Brazil remains strong favourites to advance as group winners and particularly after their opening-day victory.
However, the update will be a worry for fans of Brazil and will bring back memories of the 2014 World Cup, when Neymar sustained an injury in their quarter-final victory over Colombia which ruled him out for the remainder of the tournament – including the embarrassing 7-1 defeat against Germany in the last four.
Brazil boss Tite, had moved to allay fears over Neymar’s fitness on Thursday night after the match by stating, “Don’t worry, Neymar will play in the World Cup.