Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Brazil coach Tite gives an update on Neymar’s ankle injury

Brazil coach Tite hopes Neymar will be fit for the World Cup after picking up an ankle injury in the opening 2-0 win over Serbia.

Richarlison scored both goals, the second a great volley but was overshadowed by Neymar, who hobbled off late and looked emotional on the bench.

The forward has struggled with ankle problems in the past but Tite doesn’t believe the problem is serious, telling a press conference: “We’re confident that Neymar will continue to play in the World Cup.”

Brazilian doctor Rodrigo Lasmar added: “We have to wait 24 to 48 hours to get a better assessment. We have no MRI scheduled and tomorrow we will have a new evaluation.”

Defender Danilo also injured an ankle and limped in the final minutes.

Neymar spent 11 minutes on the pitch after picking up the injury before being substituted off.

When asked why he didn’t make the decision sooner, Tite said: “I didn’t see that Neymar was injured. The ability he has to overcome it tricked me. I only saw it now after watching the video.”

Brazil were lukewarm in the first half, only creating a couple of clear chances, but improved significantly after the break, with Richarlison justifying his selection to a host of other talented strikers.

Tite said: “I think that was an important win with a lot of wins in the same game. (In the first half) it wasn’t our normal level. In the second half we repositioned the people and improved the technique.

“I had six, seven names to call and whoever I called we would have had a great team. Richarlison is fantastic. We see him controlling a ball, he goes up and he adjusts all his plans.”

Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic was disappointed with his side’s performance in the second half, saying: “I think we were even in the first 45 minutes, I didn’t see that they were much more dominant at that point.

“But in the second half we fell physically and we weren’t a team anymore. And of course Brazil knew how to take advantage of that, because they have excellent players.”

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