‘He certainly didn’t shine before he was injured’: Brazil legend Kaka slams Neymar’s performance against Serbia in World Cup opener and suggests the PSG star’s injury status could be a problem for the rest of the tournament
- Brazil great Kaka claimed Neymar failed to shine in their 2-0 victory over Serbia
- Neymar lost the possession more than any other player during the group match
- Kaka fears Neymar’s ankle injury could impact Brazil’s World Cup aspirations
- Neymar is not expected to play again until the knock-out rounds due to his injury
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
Brazil legend Kaka is fearful Neymar’s ankle injury could harm their chances of lifting the World Cup in Qatar – even if he believes the star failed to impress in their victory over Serbia.
Neymar is not expected to play again until the knock-out rounds after twisting his ankle in the win on Thursday night.
The Brazilian talisman was pictured in tears after limping off in the 80th minute spraining his ankle, with the 30-year-old now confirmed to have sustained a ligament injury.
Neymar suffered an ankle ligament injury in the second half of Brazil’s 2-0 win over Serbia
Legendary Brazilian midfielder Kaka claimed Neymar had failed to shine against Serbia
Kaka has claimed Neymar’s injury could be a problem later in the tournament, despite the Brazilian national team expressing confidence he could recover to play a role in the latter stages.
The former AC Milan and Real Madrid star – who was part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning team – suggested Neymar failed to impress before twisting his ankle.
‘I hope Neymar can recover for the next game because it is very important for him and his reputation to win a World Cup,’ Kaka said, according to the Daily Mirror.
‘I hope he can recover for the next game and be ready. This tournament is the one that gives him a platform to shine – and against Serbia he certainly didn’t shine before he was injured.
‘The one positive is that when he went off the pitch, Brazil played a very good game.
‘It didn’t look like a serious injury at first. But what worries me is that Neymar always wants to play even when he is hurt.
‘This time he didn’t. He wanted to come off. For me, that is very strange and it could be a problem for Brazil for the rest of the tournament.’
Neymar lost possession more than any other player during the Group G match yesterday
Neymar lost possession 25 times during the match, giving up the ball more than any other player on the pitch.
The Brazilian was involved in the build-up to Richarlison’s first goal, but largely had a quiet night at the Lusail Stadium.
Neymar was also the most fouled player in the contest, with Serbia committing nine of their 12 fouls on the the Paris Saint-Germain forward.
Neymar has seen his previous World Cup appearances impacted by injuries, after damaging his back in 2014, while he broke a foot prior to the 2018 tournament.
He will not be the only player ruled out of Brazil’s next match, with full back Danilo also suffering with an ankle problem.
The Brazilian star was fouled nine times during his 80 minutes on the pitch against Serbia
Right back Danilo will also miss Brazil’s next match with a medial ligament injury
Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar has expressed hope both will recover to feature later in the tournament.
‘The scans showed a lateral ligament injury to Neymar’s right ankle along with a small bone swelling,’ Lasmar said in an update. ‘And a medial ligament injury to Danilo’s left ankle.
‘Players remain in treatment. It is very important for us to be very calm, peaceful, this assessment will be carried out daily so that we have information and make the best decisions based on that.
‘We can already say that we will not have the two players for our next game, but they remain in treatment with our objective of trying to recover in time for this competition’.
Manchester United forward Antony came on for Neymar against Serbia, but Brazilian coach Tite could opt to start Real Madrid striker Rodrygo in the second group game against Switzerland on November 28.
Veteran full back Dani Alves, 39, is likely to replace Danilo.
Tottenham striker Richarlison scored both goals in Brazil’s victory including a spectacular volley.
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