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.