Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, will miss this summer’s Copa America, having being forced out of Brazil’s friendly with Qatar after suffering an ankle injury
Neymar went straight to the dressing room early in Wednesday’s match.
The forward will miss Brazil’s Copa America campaign due to a ligament rupture in his right ankle in a huge blow for the host nation.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) confirmed the news after Neymar left Wednesday’s 2-0 friendly win over Qatar in tears.
“After suffering a sprain in his right ankle during Wednesday’s game against Qatar, Neymar was evaluated and subjected to complementary imaging tests that confirmed a ligament rupture in the ankle,” the CBF said in a statement.
“Due to the seriousness of the injury, Neymar will not have the physical conditions and sufficient recovery time to participate in the Copa America Brazil 2019.
“As of this Thursday, the technical committee of the Brazilian National Team will begin the definition of a substitute.”
The Paris Saint-Germain star started in a front three alongside Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus as Brazil began preparations for this summer’s South American tournament.
But Neymar was forced out after just 21 minutes after suffering a right ankle injury in a tackle.
The Brazil star was seen in tears on the bench after the injury and was helped down to the dressing room with the assistance of team personnel. Neymar was replaced by Everton Soares in the Brazil lineup.
Neymar was recently replaced as Brazil’s captain with Dani Alves stepping into the role ahead of this summer’s tournament.
The PSG star scored 23 goals in all competitions this season after recovering from a foot injury with 15 goals coming in Ligue 1 play.
Brazil had opened up a lead just moments before Neymar’s injury, with Richarlison providing the game’s first goal in the 16th minute on an assist from Dani Alves.
Just moments after Neymar’s departure, Brazil scored again, with Gabriel Jesus firing home and Richarlison playing provider this time around.
Brazil, widely seen as one of the favourites to win the tournament this summer, are set to kick off the Copa America on June 14 against Bolivia in the competition’s opener. The Selecao will then take on Venezuela and Peru to close the group stages.
Before that, though, Brazil, who failed to progress beyond the group stage in the 2016 Copa America, face Honduras on Sunday in one last pre-tournament friendly.