Five-time World Cup champions Brazil will have to continue their World Cup journey without talisman Neymar, who sustained an ankle injury in their 2-0 win over Serbia on Thursday.
Neymar had a hand in Brazil’s opener against Serbia as Richarlison got a brace in the game. However, the Paris Saint-Germain forward was substituted after a nasty injury with 11 minutes to play.
The former Barcelona player was the most fouled in the game, and after scans that were done on Friday, Neymar was effectively ruled out of the remaining group-stage matches.
This meant that Brazil would have to dig into their squad depth to replace the skipper for Monday’s clash against European side Switzerland and their final group game against senate Cameroon.
However, despite the extent of the injury, Brazilian head coach Tite is confident that Neymar will still play a part in the remainder of the tournament, as well as Alex Sandro, who was also injured on Thursday.
While calling on organizers to protect players who are targets of cynical fouls from opponents, Tite reaffirmed his faith that both injured players will still play.
“If you want to celebrate football, you have to pay attention to the fouls. They focus on specific players. This is the effect. This has to be stopped. I can say that, not only about Neymar, but also about Danilo, both of their situations have evolved, but we believe both will be available to play at the World Cup.” Tite said.
Switzerland managed a 1-0 win over Cameroon in their World Cup opener thanks to Breel Embolo’s strike. They can seal progress into the round of 16 if they can beat the South American giants.
Serbia will face Cameroon in the second game of the group on Monday, while South Korea will play Ghana, and Portugal will face Uruguay in the remaining fixtures on Monday.
Meanwhile, in group E, Spain and Germany played at a 1-1 draw. Alvaro Morata opened the scoring in the second half after coming on as a substitute; however, Niclas Fullkrug equalized for Germany in the 83rd minute.