Ankle Injury Rules Neymar Out Of Copa America

Brazil star, Neymar, will not play for his country in 2019 Copa America after rupturing a ligament in his ankle during the side’s 2-0 win over Qatar in a friendly match in Brasilia.

The 27-year-old, who was stripped of the Brazilian captaincy last month, limped off after 17 minutes.

Everton striker, Richarlison, had put the hosts ahead after 16 minutes, and Manchester City hitman, Gabriel Jesus, added a second eight minutes later.

The Paris Saint-Germain player was taken to hospital for a scan, after he was helped off the pitch by members of the Brazil support staff, having appeared to have twisted his ankle.

Brazil coach, Tite, who on Monday described the forward as “indispensable” but not “irreplaceable” in the team, initially believed the injury would not be “very serious”.

Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona for a world record $230 million in August 2017, had missed three months earlier this year through injury, when he broke a metatarsal in his right foot.

He also missed another three months, following surgery on the same injury in 2018, but he returned in time to play at the 2018 World Cup.

His club team-mate, Dani Alves, replaced him as national team captain; a role he held for eight months. The captain’s armband was taken from him, following disciplinary issues that included a ban for assaulting a fan.

Brazil, who will host the tournament, will be looking to win it for the first time since 2007.

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