Monday, February 24, 2020

Neymar facing a race against time to be fit for the World cup

David Nugent in Editorial, World Cup 1 Mar 2018

Embed from Getty Images

Speculation about how long Brazilian international Neymar will be sidelined for has gone on since the forward sustained his injury on Sunday playing for PSG in a 3-0 win over Marseille.

The 26-year-old sustained a metatarsal injury, as well as an ankle problem after a challenge from Bouna Sarr. The player is reportedly set to undergo surgery on Saturday in an attempt to fix the metatarsal injury.

PSG boss Unai Emery revealed that he thought Neymar may have a chance of making the Champions League last 16 second leg tie against Real Madrid next week. However, then the player’s father claimed he would be out for between six and eight weeks.

Now the Brazilian team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar has stated that the forward’s recovery could take up to two or three months. If it is the longer timescale, then the forward has a race against time to be fit for this summer’s World Cup.

Neymar is the Selecao poster boy

Neymar is the poster boy of the Brazilian national team. He is the star that shines above all stars in the yellow shirt. Since his emergence as a 17-year-old at Santos, Neymar has been heralded as one of the most exciting talents in the world game.

Every Brazilian side usually has one stand out player and for this current team, Neymar is that player. The forward has scored 53 times in 83 appearances for his country, so his status as top dog is undeniable.

At 26-years of age, he has achieved everything he can in the club game, winning titles and the Champions League at previous club Barcelona.

However, for many the hopes of Brazil winning the World Cup rest on the shoulders and the performances of their maverick star. It would be a disaster for the Selecao if the forward did not make this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Brazil have lots of attacking talent

The crazy thing is that Brazil are probably one of the teams in the best position to replace the PSG star, as they have a wealth of attacking available to them. One player that is expected to play a big part in Russia for the Selecao is Manchester City’s, Gabriel Jesus.

The youngster burst on to the world scene in World Cup qualifying. The forward helped the South American’s turn around their campaign after an unconvincing start. The youngster is now one of the first names on Tite’s team sheet.

Then there are the talents of Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino. The former Hoffenheim striker is often underrated, but he has enjoyed a stellar campaign for Jurgen Klopp’s side. He is now a key player in the team and a crucial player for the Merseysiders. If Neymar is fit, then Firmino may have to settle for a place on the bench in Russia.

Who could forget Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho? His outstanding displays of goal scoring and creation at Liverpool earned the little magician a big-money January move to Barcelona.

On paper having that trio as their frontline, would not be the end of the world for the Selecao. However, for all their talent and personality, none of the trio can replace Neymar’s star power and sheer presence on the pitch.

Favourites to win the World Cup

Brazil are joint-favourites at 9/2 to win the World Cup alongside reigning world champions Germany. Those odds would no doubt change if Neymar failed to recover in time to make the tournament.

I highly doubt that Neymar will be absent from the Brazil squad for this summer’s World Cup. However, his level of fitness will be a concern for everybody involved with the Selecao.

It would be sad to see Neymar playing for Brazil when is not fully fit. It would not be good for the player or his national team. He will, however, be determined to be in the World Cup squad.

I just hope that the two-month timescale is more accurate, which would at least give the forward some time to recover and regain a decent level of fitness. The World Cup needs the best players participating, love or loathe him Neymar fits into that category.

Will Neymar recover in time for this summer’s World Cup?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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