Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Neymar hobbles out of Brazil training session after 15 minutes

Neymar hobbles out of Brazil training session after 15 minutes

Neymar hobbled out of a training session on Tuesday, setting alarm bells ringing in the Brazil camp as they prepare for their second World Cup group game against Costa Rica on Friday.

The Brazilian soccer confederation said it wasn't a serious injury and Neymar would be back in practice on Wednesday, but doubts about his fitness only increased.

The Brazilian talisman was fouled 10 times in his country's 1-1 draw against Switzerland on Sunday. He limped as he walked away from the field toward the dressing room.

Brazil's Neymar attends a training session in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

One of the photos showed the playmaker touching the ball with his injured right ankle.

"As soon as he felt the pain he went to the physio. We can have one player being the protagonist in one game, then another in the next one, but the most important thing is the group".

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Neymar will not have to fear for his safety when Brazil take on Costa Rica in World Cup Group E, according to opposition head coach Oscar Ramirez.

Instead, as one of the pre-tournament favorites were held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland he was a pale shadow of the crowd-pleasing showman widely recognized as the heir to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the greatest player in the world. "I guess that will be normal [to be fouled regularly], we have to pay attention to it, but that's something normal in football", he told reporters after the match. All of us have to help the team reach its potential but we have to respect individual characteristics.

Costa Rica may not provide quite as stubborn opposition as Switzerland, but Brazil will be wary that it took a brilliant free-kick from Aleksandar Kolarov to defeat them in their opening game.

Coutinho had been handed a central role behind Neymar, on his first competitive game for four months, Gabriel Jesus and Willian in a line-up filled with attacking intent from coach Tite.

This is the first time since the 1978 World Cup in Argentina that the five-time champions have not won their opening match.

It also complained about Mexican referee Cesar Arturo Ramos's decision not to blow his whistle when a Swiss player pushed Miranda before scoring an equaliser.

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