Neymar an injury doubt for Brazil's World Cup quarter-final with Colombia
Neymar could be a doubt for match later this week
Monday 30 June 2014
Neymar could be an injury doubt for Brazil's upcoming quarter-final with Colombia.
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has told reporters that his star man may not be fit for the hosts' upcoming game, railing against the rough treatment Neymar has been getting in matches.
Read more: Neymar is born to handle penalty pressure
The 22-year-old endured a bit of a kicking at the hands or rather feet of a gutsy Chile side who pushed Brazil all the way to penalties, where Neymar stepped up to dispatch the winning spot kick and send his side through.
However his coach, Scolari, was angry about the treatment Neymar was given during the game.
"We have four or five days to get Neymar in shape for the next match. It is a big problem, his thigh is swollen," he said.
"I remember when I was Portugal coach and, in the fifth minute of the game, Netherlands defender Khalid Boulahrouz broke Cristiano Ronaldo in half and he had to go off 10 minutes later.
"When I saw Neymar after the game today I remembered that. Some people say Neymar falls too easily. He fell three times."
Despite Brazil's progression into the quarter-finals, Scolari is under no illusions that his side have been far from convincing and were perhaps fortunate not to crash out against Chile.
"If you don't exploit the few opportunities you get, you can go out.
"We almost paid the price in the 118th minute when the ball hit the bar.
"We had three or four chances to score a (second) goal and didn't do it. We had even possession and more shots on goal, but when you don't score you always run more of a risk."
However man of the moment Julio Cesar had a slightly more positive spin on things: "We had a good first half and created a lot of chances. After the equaliser Chile came into the game and made life hard for us. All we can do is thank the fans and our team-mates for keeping the faith.
"There's huge pressure in representing our country, and it was tough on a psychological and emotional level. I got very emotional four years ago, and today I was crying again, but this time out of happiness.
"Not many people know what I've been through, but I knew my international career wasn't over. We've got three more steps to go now and I want to see Brazil celebrating. That's my big dream."
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