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Neymar hobbled by Swiss in slow start for Brazil

22 June 2018

FC's Craig Burley says Neymar's "circus" in Brazil's draw against Switzerland and subsequent injury news are a distraction to the team.

Brazilian football federation said that Neymar, Paulinho and Thiago Silva did not participate in full training but instead stayed in the gym or worked with the physiotherapist.

"Neymar complained of ankle pains, due to the number of fouls he suffered [in the match] against Switzerland".

With Neymar hobbling and struggling, the burden to keep Brazil going at the World Cup is suddenly falling on Philippe Coutinho. He limped as he walked away from the field toward the dressing room.

It was not just that the 26-year-old had few chances.

Folha de Sao Paulo, an influential newspaper in Brazil, said the performance of the Brazilian team, led by coach Tite, was "off", and another newspaper, Estado de Sao Paulo, indicated that the team's performance in the 2018 World Cup was "below expectations".

Because Brazil's opener also ended in a draw, Group E is wide open right now and Serbia will play Friday for an outright victory against Switzerland.

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I still think we can improve in all aspects, added the Real Madrid captain. They would have opened a little more and we could have found more spaces.

Despite this, Brazil's hopes firmly rest on Neymar's shoulders and it will have come as a worrying sign after the forward was videoed limping out of the Rostov Arena after the match.

Neymar was initially in the middle trying to regain possession of the ball but as soon as he made a block with his right foot, he grimaced in pain.

The star goal scorer reportedly had to miss Brazil's training session as a result of his injury. "Neymar trained a little, felt the pain, returned to physical therapy and tomorrow trains normally". They usually play as a team and I was confident that they couldn't lose. "We wanted to win, but this draw could help too in the future", Marcelo was quoted by the press service of Federation Internationale de Football Association.

"Neymar is one of the best players in the world and it's a great plus to have him in the team", Coutinho said.

"I'm happy with the way we've played", Tite said.

For Serbia, this year's tournament marks their first World Cup appearance since 2010 and are in good spirits having warmed up with a 5-1 win over Bolivia.

Neymar hobbled by Swiss in slow start for Brazil