Brazil holds its breath for injured Neymar

Brazil holds its breath for injured Neymar: Tite admits he’d have taken star man off earlier against Serbia if he knew he was in pain and hopes he’ll have a further part to play in the World Cup despite ankle problem

  • Brazil are eagerly awaiting an update on the severity of Neymar’s ankle injury 
  • Neymar is set to miss the remaining group games after his injury against Serbia 
  • Tite says he would have taken the winger off earlier if he knew he was injured 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

The questions kept coming, one after another, about one particular man. At a World Cup, even a Brazil press conference is a major event but this had a different twist.

As much as people were looking for information, the vast majority of Tite’s audience seemed to be looking for reassurance. Was Neymar going to be fit? How could Brazil cope without him? What would the head coach say about Neymar being fouled so much?

Brazil are eagerly awaiting news regarding how long Neymar will be out for due to injury

His name seemed to be on loop to the point that Marquinhos was given an inquisition of his own. How was Neymar’s state of mind? Was there belief in the squad that he would be back? On and on it went for 30 minutes — Neymar, Neymar, Neymar.

Among the answers, though, was an apology. Tite, the man charged with delivering Brazil’s sixth World Cup and first since 2002, felt he had made a mistake during that opening 2-0 win over Serbia when his star man’s ankle was damaged.

‘I had not seen that Neymar was injured,’ said Tite, who felt the change could have been made 11 minutes earlier. ‘I am clarifying this. I would like to say this in public to the player. This moment, for me, is huge. This moment is beyond football.

‘Let me tell you something. Neymar and Danilo (who was also injured) will play again in the World Cup. This is my opinion. The medical and clinical assessments, I am not in position to speak about these things. We just have to be comfortable with the situation. But I believe they will play again.’

Tite admitted that he would have taken Neymar off earlier if he knew that he was injured

Brazil captured the imagination of their followers and dared them to dream when opening their campaign with three points at the Lusail Stadium. But Neymar’s circumstances have put a different hue on the picture and his importance was revealed in Tite’s following observation.

With no chance of featuring against either Switzerland or Cameroon, the race is on to see if he will be ready for a potential last 16 fixture. Brazil’s physios will not have a minute’s rest as they try to get the Paris Saint-Germain superstar into the necessary condition.

‘There were a lot of conversations with him and he was working with the medical team until 6am after Serbia,’ Tite explained. ‘The work they are doing is appreciated by everyone. In a moment like this, team spirit is important.’

Tite expressed hope that Neymar will still have a significant part to play in the tournament

Marquinhos said that Neymar is getting through his situation with the help of his team-mates

Marquinhos added: ‘He is getting through this with his team-mates. When you are injured the fight is emotional as well as physical. It is so important to have a strong state of mind and that is key to helping you make a quick recovery.

What would also undoubtedly help is if Brazil took care of Switzerland and secured their place in the knockout phase as quickly and efficiently as France did on Saturday. Neymar is important, of course, but with Richarlison and Vinicius Junior in form they will not struggle.

Tite enthused about ‘Vini’ as he did Raphinha, while there was also a name check for Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes. Predictably, though, the conversation was once again brought around to the man whose image is dotted on billboards and video screens all around Doha.

‘I can tell you what I believe,’ said Tite. ‘Brazil relies on all its players. Neymar is an extraordinary talent but when you prepare for a game, you prepare all the players. The talents we have, these are our gifts. And all 26 of these players? They are ready.’

However with four players forced to sit out of training at various points over the weekend due to a sickness bug, Brazil might not be as prepared for the Swiss as their manager hopes.

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