Brazil’s Neymar in tears on the bench after apparent ankle injury

LUSAIL, Qatar — Neymar was pictured in tears on the Brazil bench after leaving his team’s 2-0 win over Serbia to begin their World Cup campaign in Qatar on Thursday, after picking up an injury to his right ankle.

The Brazil forward was subjected to nine fouls throughout the game by a physical Serbian side and was replaced by Antony in the 80th minute after spending some time on the ground at the Lusail Iconic Stadium following a hard tackle by Nikola Milenkovic.

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Neymar was treated with ice packs by team trainers on the bench and was seen limping towards the Brazil locker room after the win.

Following the game, Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said: “Neymar has an injury on his right ankle [as a result of] direct trauma. He will continue with physios and need to wait 24-48 hours for a better assessment. No MRI is scheduled, but tomorrow there will be a new assessment. We need to wait and cannot make any premature comments.

“He felt this pain throughout the game, but chose to stay on the pitch to help his team for 11 minutes after his injury. It’s remarkable that he did this.”

Neymar was at the heart of an electric Brazilian attack that registered 22 shots on goal against Serbia and he set up Vinicius Junior for the shot that ultimately led to the opener for Richarlison.

The Paris Saint-Germain star has struggled with injuries during his career, most recently picking up an ankle injury in November of 2021 in Ligue 1. He also missed the end of the 2014 World Cup after fracturing vertebrae in his back from a tackle by Colombia’s Juan Zuniga in the quarterfinals.

The 30-year-old Neymar has yet to win a major title with the national team. He helped Brazil win the 2013 Confederations Cup and their first Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

With 75 goals for the national team, he is two shy of Pele’s scoring record.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.

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