But amid the victory, there is concern among supporters worldwide regarding Neymar and his fitness. The star forward had an underwhelming game, having just 3 shots and only one of them was on target. In a match where Neymar scored blank, trouble arose later when he hobbled off with an ankle injury and had to be substituted.
At the touchline, the 30-year-old was captured wrapping his head with the shirt in dismay and that feared millions. He also had an ice pack wrapped around his ankle, with a visible swollen area around the ankle. And these images have raised questions about whether his tournament has come to a premature end.
But the star forward since has taken to Twitter and calmed the nerves of his millions of followers.
“Tough game, but it was important to win, Congratulations team, first step taken… 6 [more games] left,” Neymar tweeted after the game. The tone of the tweet may suggest his injury is not that serious and the PSG forward may well be fit for the next game against Switzerland.
Brazil manager Tite also confirmed that Neymar’s injury is not serious and he wants to make a tactical change and that was the reason he took Neymar off. It seems more like a cautious approach from the Brazil management to not increase Neymar’s workload.
“You can be sure that Neymar will play in the World Cup, I am absolutely sure of that. He’s going to play in the World Cup” Tite told the curious reporters after his team’s triumph.
But Brazil’s team doctor later said they will have to wait for further review if required. He also confirmed the talismanic forward sprained his ankle and had swelling, which was treated with ice and physiotherapy.
“There is no scheduled imaging exam. If there is a need, we will. But that will be decided by the measure of his evaluation tomorrow. The expectation is observation. Anything we talk about evolution, his sequel, is premature. We do not have any answers, it is important to wait,” added Dr. Rodrigo Lasmar.
It most likely will be a minor injury which Neymar can overcome in the next couple of days. Brazil are in cruise control of their group for now and a win over Switzerland in the next match will almost ensure their passage to the knockouts.