According to Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, Brazil’s most dangerous attacker picked up an injury during the Selecao’s penalty shootout win over Chile, though the extent of the problem is not yet known. Regardless, when Neymar’s name is involved, expect there to be a healthy amount of paranoia about whether Brazil will be without its biggest star in the quarterfinals against Colombia.
Through four matches, Neymar has recorded four goals, tied for the tournament lead. Against Chile, however, he was held off the scoresheet and neutralized throughout the game’s final 75 minutes, with the host nation needing penalties to eliminate la Roja.
After the match, Scolari confirmed that the 22-year-old forward had picked up an injury just after the opening kickoff, and while there was no hint that Neymar is in danger of missing the team’s quarterfinal on Friday in Fortaleza, the mere mention of an injury will put the attacker’s healthy in focus heading into the final eight.
Scolari’s remarks, from our partners at Soccerly:
“Neymar hurt his thigh right at the start of game from a heavy challenge (by Charles Aranguiz in the fourth minute). We need to evaluate it but we should have three, four or five days to try and make sure he can play the next game …”
There are certainly enough seeds for doubt in Scolari’s words, but remember: Neymar played for 116 minutes after the injury was said to take place. And at this point of the tournament, when coaching staffs want to keep as much information as close to the vest as possible, we may not get many clear answers.
Is Neymar injured? We don’t really know. Our best clue: He played 120 minutes on Saturday in Belo Horizonte.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.