Brazil have suffered a big blow at the 2022 World Cup after talisman Neymar was ruled out until after the group stage in Qatar with a sprained ankle, confirmed the team's doctor.
Neymar was the most fouled player in the first round of group matches, being chopped down nine times during the 2-0 win over Serbia.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward looked to twist his ankle when he was on the receiving end of a sliding challenge by Serbia defender Nikola Milenkovic in the 80th minute.
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The 30-year-old spent a further 11 minutes on the pitch before he was substituted for Manchester United winger Antony.
Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said tests conducted on Neymar's right ankle showed he has a ligament injury.
“It’s important to remain calm, an evaluation will be conducted daily so we can have more information and take the most appropriate decisions,” Lasmar said.
He added that “the goal is to have him recover” to still play in the tournament.
Neymar said it was "one of the hardest" moments of his career in a post on Instagram.
Lasmar has also ruled Danilo out for the remainder of the group stage. The right-back also suffered an ankle problem in the final minutes of the match and hobbled off the pitch at full time.
After the match, Brazil manager Tite played down fears Neymar could miss the rest of the tournament. He said: “We are confident Neymar will continue playing in the World Cup.”
Neymar, who has scored 75 times for his country and only sits behind Pele (77) in the all-time charts, is looking to win the trophy with Brazil for the first time having announced this could be his last tournement.
Brazil were knocked out by Belgium at the quarter-final stage in 2018, while a back injury at the same stage four years earlier saw Neymar miss Brazil's humiliating 7-1 loss in the semi-final to Germany.

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03/12/2022 AT 10:09