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Neymar was fouled 10 times in Brazil’s showdown against Switzerland, which ended in a 1-1 draw in their Sunday’s 2018 World Cup opener. The number of fouls sustained by Neymar was the highest taken by a player in the World Cup in the last 20 years.

The beating sustained by Neymar forced him to leave Brazil’s practice on Tuesday after just 15 minutes. According to a team doctor, Neymar is sporting a right ankle injury from a foul he suffered against Switzerland. The doctor clarified that the injury has nothing to do with the broken right foot that Neymar sustained in February.

Neymar was seen with other teammates during practice in Sochi. Minutes later, he was spotted limping as he walked off the field and into the dressing room.

Neymar To Undergo Physical Therapy

Doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told the press that Neymar left practice after feeling soreness while jogging. The doctor said Neymar will undergo physiotherapy in preparation for Brazil’s practice on Wednesday and their Friday’s Group E clash against Costa Rica. After the physical therapy, Lasmar said Neymar will return to normal training.

Neymar recently joined Paris Saint-Germain via a record transfer fee amounting to $263 million (€222 million). PSG then signed Neymar to a five-year contract with an annual pay of $53 million, the highest for any football player in the world. However, Neymar’s first season with PSG ended in February after he sustained a fractured foot.

Teammate Expects Brazil To Be Targeted

According to Phillipe Coutinho, he expects other opponents to target Brazil as one of the favorites in the World Cup.

“We’re talking about a World Cup so everybody will try to defend their game,” said Coutinho, who provided the lone goal for Brazil in their clash against Switzerland. As for Neymar’s status, Coutinho said his superstar teammate is okay after absorbing 10 fouls, some of which he called “not necessary.”

After the game, Neymar pleaded the referees to protect him from consistent fouling.

“All I have to do is to play football, or try to do it. It’s for the referee to see it,” said Neymar. While it’s normal to be fouled regularly, Neymar said it’s the duty of the referees to pay attention to it.

Neymar is expected to play when Brazil takes on Costa Rica on Friday, where they go for their first win of the tournament. In the 2014 edition of the World Cup, Brazil lost to eventual champion Germany in the semifinals as it played without Neymar, who suffered a back injury.

Photo: Alex Fau | Flickr 

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