There are some who can’t tolerate his flamboyant style and there are those that can’t get enough of it. No matter where you stand, there’s no denying he’s one of the best players in the world and by some distance. That’s precisely why his return from injury is very good news for Brazil as they prepare for the knockout stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Neymar set to return for Round of 16.
According to Brazil’s head coach Tite, the team has a reason to rejoice in that star and talisman Neymar, is now available for Brazil’s last-16 match against South Korea on Monday. Asked on Sunday whether Neymar would be fit to return for the game against South Korea, Tite replied “yes,” before adding that “Neymar will train today in the afternoon and if he trains well, he will play.” The news comes following days of speculation about the forward’s status, after he missed Brazil’s last two group games due to ligament damage which he suffered in his right ankle during the Seleção’s opener against Serbia. It goes without saying, that the 30-year-old is an integral part of Brazil’s hopes to win a record 6th World Cup.
How did Neymar’s injury occur?
It was during their Group G opener against Serbia, when the Paris St-Germain star received a heavy tackle from Nikola Milenkovic in the 80th minute. Indeed, from a neutral perspective it appears as though the Serbians had opted for bruise and batter tactic where the prolific attacking midfielder was concerned. Neymar would later describe the injury as “one of the hardest moments of my career”. In an Instagram post, he opened up about not only what he was feeling, but what he was willing to do to return. “Nothing in my life came easy and I’ve always had to work for my dreams and goals. I have never wished anyone anything bad and always helped who needed. I’m injured, yes it’s not nice, it will hurt but I’m sure I will have the chance to come back because I’ll do everything possible to help my country, my team-mates and myself.”
Incidentally, this is only the latest in a series of injuries that Neymar has suffered specifically with his right foot in recent years. Fans will recall that he was unable to play in the 2019 Copa America after suffering torn ligaments in his right ankle, before sitting out several weeks after he sustained a similar injury in 2021. Though this is undoubtedly good news for neutrals and the Seleção faithful alike, there will have to be an abundance of caution used with the No. 10 if they hope to count on him going forward. In other injury related news, Brazil will also see the return of Danilo, but they have lost Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus for the remainder of the tournament.