It is a sign that does not deceive. It wasn’t Neymar’s tears, or even his swollen ankle, that made headlines in Brazil on Friday morning. Richarlison stole the show. It must be said that the papinade of the Tottenham striker was worth the detour and it was displayed almost everywhere. But the flight of the pigeon, his nickname, did not hide the “concern” (O Globo) surrounding the fate of number 10, hit in the right ankle after a tackle from the Serb Milenkovic. “It’s boring but it doesn’t seem that bad and the Seleçao has other assets”positive Kleber, observing the newspapers displayed on his favorite kiosk.
And even when Neymar’s package for the next match (against Switzerland, Monday, 5 p.m.) was confirmed, no one panicked. Even Brazilian TVs have not interrupted their programs to discuss the absence of their star. “Unfortunately, this is no longer a novelty. I think we got used to playing without him. Don’t forget that Brazil’s last trophy (Copa America 2019) was won without Neymar” recalled Paulo Vinicius Coelho, commentator on TV Globo.
Neymar has also played only 25 matches out of the 42 played by the Seleçao since his injury against Qatar in May 2019, just before the Copa America. “Since 2019, Brazil have understood that they can play without Neymarconfirmed Adailton, former PSG striker. The team is more important than a single player, even if this one is extraordinary. Today, the Seleçao can bear such an absence and that’s why we don’t make a big deal out of it. »
Absent against Switzerland, number 10, with the help of Ricardo Rosa, his physiotherapist, will do everything to return as soon as possible. “Neymar is going to play in the World Cup! You can be absolutely certain of that.”, hammered Tite, convinced of the resilience of his artist. This is also what Filipe Luis, consultant on SporTV, suggested. “Neymar is a warrior, he knows how to play with pain. If his sprain was very serious, he would not have stayed 10 minutes longer on the pitch before going out.tried to reassure the left side of Flamengo.
Paqueta in a more offensive role?
In the meantime, Tite will have to compose a team without him. In the absence of Coutinho (absent in Qatar due to injury), several options are available to him. Align Lucas Paqueta in a more attacking role, which will force him to start Fred or Bruno Guimaraes alongside Casemiro. Or offer a chance to Rodrygo, 21 (1 goal in 9 caps), or Antony, 22 (2 goals in 12 caps). “There is no one with Neymar’s profile. Tite will have to change his game model a bit, but that doesn’t worry me.” positive Adailton, now assistant coach at Juventude. “Me, I will bet on Rodrygo who seems in great shape”, estimated Grafite, the former striker now a consultant on SporTV. Forwards and midfielders now have a few sessions to convince their coach to throw them into the deep end.