Neymar missed the group stage action

DOHA: Brazil received a major blow at the 2022 World Cup after its star player, Neymar had to be sidelined for the rest of the group stage competition after spraining his ankle.

Neymar was the most fouled player in Brazil’s first game yesterday, he was tackled nine times during the 2-0 win over Serbia.

The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) striker appeared to twist his ankle when he was tackled by Serbian defender Nikola Milenkovic in the 80th minute.

The 30-year-old spent a further 11 minutes on the pitch before he was replaced by Manchester United winger Antony.

Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said tests carried out on Neymar’s right ankle showed he suffered a ligament injury and would not be fit to face Switzerland on Monday.

“It is important to remain calm, the evaluation will be carried out every day so that we can get more information and take the most appropriate decision.

“The goal now is to rehabilitate him to ensure he can continue to play in this tournament,” said Lasmar.

Apart from Neymar, Danilo is also expected to miss the remainder of the group stage after the right-back also suffered an ankle problem in the final minutes of the match and limped off the pitch after the final whistle.

After the match, Brazil manager Tite dismissed concerns that Neymar could miss the rest of the tournament and said the player would continue to play at the World Cup.

“We are confident that Neymar will continue to play in the World Cup,” he said.

Neymar, who has scored 75 goals for his country and is behind Pele who scored 77 goals as the all-time top scorer.

Brazil were knocked out by Belgium in the quarter-finals in 2018, while a back injury at the same stage four years earlier saw Neymar miss Brazil’s humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany.-AGENCIES

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