It was the promise of the evening this November 24: the best for the end. After having seen all the other favorites or contenders set foot on the beautiful and very green lawns of Qatar (and no doubt savoring the Saudi trip to the neighbor and Argentinian rival), Brazil finally launched its World Cup. This Brazil that everyone sees as very beautiful, and which easily returns the compliment, justified this patience. A 2-0 victory against Serbia at the Lusail stadium for a Seleçao with two faces. Countered and sluggish in the first period, liberated and joyful in the second, except for one big detail.
A lame man and worry creeps in everywhere and spoils the party. Prostrated on the bench, Neymar (released in 78e minute) hides his anguish and wipes his tears in his yellow jersey so dear to his heart. At that moment, he thinks of the worst. How could it be otherwise? Ten minutes earlier, his right ankle spun after a bad encounter with defender Nikola Milenkovic’s crampons.
With “Ney”, dramaturgy is never far away. In 2014, the child of Santos left his World Cup on a wheelchair, hit by a knee by Colombian Camilo Zuniga in the quarter-finals (cracked third vertebra). Inevitably, Brazil thinks of the worst, but its partners try to provide reassuring words in front of microphones and cameras. “From what I saw, Neymar looked fine and had ice on his foot, informs Alex Sandro. I hope he can be with us at the next training. » The defender pushes a little too much on optimism.
🚑 ❌ Neymar boxes on returning to the locker room 🇧🇷 @telefoot_TF1 / @TF1 https://t.co/5lw0aSyJAd
Shortly after, the team doctor delivers a first hot verdict. “Neymar has a sprained ankle with swelling, but we don’t know yet if it’s serious. Now it’s just a matter of time and a little patience.”, says Rodrigo Lasmar, interviewed by Itatiaia radio. The Brazilian is due to have his ankle checked again on Friday, before taking any tests on Saturday or Sunday. But his presence against Switzerland on Monday already seems hypothetical.
In Doha, the Paris-Saint-Germain player and his teammates live in hiding, train behind closed doors, and too bad for their supporters, who have to be content with a Neymar of posters and advertisements everywhere. In the event of a package, his image and his regrets will therefore remain. Those of not seeing how far the redemption of the star can lead, begun with a finally studious summer and extended by a backfiring start to the season. One man does not doubt it: Titus. “You can be sure that Neymar will play again in this World Cup, I have absolute certainty of that”declares his coach, without advancing to give a deadline.
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