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Neymar injury latest: PSG star admits he thought Qatar 2022 dream … – Sporting News

Brazil started their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign in fine form, topping a qualifying group featuring Switzerland and Serbia, before cruising past South Korea in the Round of 16.
Defeat to Cameroon, albeit with a heavily rotated side, is the only negative result so far, and they are still tipped by many as favourites to go all the way in Qatar.
However, a worrying side story to Brazil’s campaign has been an injury superstar Neymar, in the 2-0 win over Serbia, which saw him leave the field in tears, after suffering a heavy knock late in the game to his ankle. 
The PSG attacker is no stranger to suffering significant injuries at the worst time, and all eyes are on his developing fitness, after missing the remaining two group games, but returning for the Round of 16.
The Sporting News will keep you updated with the latest as the Brazil striker’s injury is assessed. 
MORE: Brazil World Cup squad, who could replace Neymar if he is injured again?
As Brazil held their breath over Neymar’s injury, Tite and his squad focused on ensuring there would be a knockout stage for him to play in, as he returned.
The Brazil medical team worked extensively with the 30-year-old, from physio treatment to cryo-freezing techniques to reduce swelling, to bring him back into the fold against South Korea.
Neymar started, and scored from the penalty spot, as the Samba Boys danced to a 4-1 win in the Round of 16 but Tite will continue to monitor his fitness.
Neymar smiling when he hugged Son Heung-min 🥰
He was withdrawn for the final 15 minutes against South Korea, to avoid an overload, and despite confidence on his ability to play 90-120 minutes, precautions will be taken.
Another World Cup injury left Neymar in a difficult place in the opening round of fixtures with former Barcelona attacker aiming to play a leading role in Brazil’s charge.
However, after battling back to fitness, he admitted the issue could have spelt the end of his tournament.
“I was thinking of a million different things”, as per reports from The Guardian.
“I was afraid of not being able to play in this World Cup again, but I have the support of all of my colleagues, my family and I tried to look for strength where I could not find it.
“When I was reading all the messages of encouragement, it helped my recovery.”
MORE: Best goal of World Cup so far? Richarlison’s scissor-kick for Brazil, hands down
Another injury to Neymar would leave a rather big hole to fill on the pitch for Brazil.
He was pivotal in their opening goal of the 2022 World Cup against Serbia, with his one-on-one ability nearly impossible to match, and his return against South Korea was crucial.
Neymar was replaced by Antony against Serbia and the Manchester United youngster has the creative skills to fill some of Neymar’s void. 
Newcastle United star Bruno Guimaraes is a possible option, although it was another United man in Fred who came into the midfield against Switzerland, with Lucas Paquetá pushed into a No.10 role.
Those two players are more defensive-minded than Neymar, however, so Tite would need to shift his formation, if Neymar beaks down again.
Unfortunately, Neymar is no stranger to injuries at the worst possible time when it comes to playing for Brazil. 
The 30-year-old missed his team’s infamous 7-1 loss to Germany at the 2014 World Cup after hurting his back. 
Four years later, Neymar struggled somewhat in Russia, after fracturing his fifth metatarsal just three months before the start of the tournament. 
This was a case of third time unlucky, following the initial setback, but his recovery continues to be positive.
Neymar arrived at the 2022 World Cup in form and fully fit, with his last injury absence at club level dating back to February.



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