Neymar’s World Cup is in danger after Serbia’s nine mistakes

It’s that picture. Neymar with his head in his hands on the bench after being called for a substitution 13 minutes before normal playing time.

Injury to Brazil’s first World Cup match and its star player.

“Neymar has a sprain in his right ankle,” said the Brazilian doctor. “We started treatment right away but need to wait 24 hours for a better evaluation. We don’t have anything else scheduled. Right now we need to wait and can’t give any premature feedback.”

But how was the ankle sprained? Was it just a sprained ankle or a build-up throughout the game?

After the first round of the group stage, Neymar was the player who was most fouled – nine times out of the total of 12 that Serbia has committed. These are the nine mistakes.


stinky one

Having lost the ball in midfield, Strahinja Pavlović was very anxious to win it back – in the process, he tackled Neymar from behind. Pavlovic had possession of the ball but also a lot from the Brazil No. 10 shirt.

It wasn’t harmful.

two foul

On that mistake, Neymar dribbled past Sasa Lukic before the midfielder knocked him down – via his left ankle to be exact.

If the previous mistake wasn’t bad, it was with the Serbian player hitting Neymar’s left ankle directly. But there was no reservation.

foul three

This was one of the highlights. Nikola Milinkovic speeds up Neymar and pushes him gently before angrily alerting the Serbian defender about an alleged elbow in his mouth, most likely by Vinicius Jr.

foul four

Another Lukic incident on Neymar. Does Lukic comment on Neymar, get the ball, or both? The Serbs reacted mainly to an unpunished violation.

Lukic’s challenge seems to be either hitting the right side of the body, leg or ankle when considering the direction of Neymar’s body and where the ball is.

foul five

This was not a serious foul but clever play from Neymar, who used his body to protect the ball and then, as soon as he felt contact, fell. Smart and easy without getting hurt.


foul six

Such tactical mistakes have become commonplace. After Brazil won the ball and Neymar led the offensive transition, Nemanja Godelli goes looking to get the ball back…

…but he was late and decided to illegally stop Neymar by going through him.

This brings us to our first major damage. Godelli’s left knee directly impacts Neymar’s right ankle.

The issue here is not just the strength of the challenge. The treatment was late but Godelli didn’t even protest the yellow card he was shown and raised his hand as an apology.

foul seven

It’s Lukic… again. This is not a foul as bad as the previous one by Godelli, but it is doubtful that his shot into the bottom right of Neymar undoubtedly increases the pain of the Brazil striker.

foul eight

This is a familiar situation. Neymar tries to dribble a number of players…

… before Dusan Tadic took him down by clipping his left leg.

foul nine

Just a routine mistake in a non-hazardous area of ​​the pitch, Milinkovic beat Neymar while Brazil evaded the pressure.

So how did Neymar sprain his ankle? Was that Godele’s treatment?

This mistake played its part, but the twist itself occurred in the 66th minute, after Neymar accidentally put his foot on Milinkovic’s.

During the Brazilian attacking transition, Milinkovic went in for a last-ditch attempt…

…which he executes cleanly and gets the ball.

The concern for Brazil fans begins here, with Neymar left on the ground clutching his right leg.

On closer examination, we can see that Milinkovic makes contact with the ball cleanly…

…before Neymar stepped on his foot…

…which upsets the balance with the Brazilian and sprains his ankle.

Despite the image that gives the impression that Milinkovic kicked Neymar on his right ankle. It is an accident and an event that we hope will not force Neymar out of the World Cup.

After the match, Tite offered some reassurance. “We are confident that Neymar will continue to play in the World Cup.”

Losing Neymar would be the biggest blow imaginable for this Brazilian side. Even on an average day by his standards, he was pivotal to each of their goals and could have scored himself.

His dribbling forward for Brazil’s first goal, after three Serbian players, put Vinicius in a good shooting position before Richarlison slotted home the rebound.

If Neymar’s injury means he could miss the rest of the tournament, it’s not Brazil’s loss alone. It’s the loss of the world too.

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