Brazil, in suspense at the foot of Neymar
PSG defender Thiago Silva talks to his teammate, striker Neymar, on the ground during a game against Marseille at Parc des Princes on February 25, 2018 in Paris
After sweeping through the South American qualifiers and with his star converted by PSG into the most expensive signing in history, Brazil was waiting for a straight path to redemption in the World Cup in Russia. Until everything went wrong with Neymar’s foot.
Now the whole country holds its breath until the striker is operated on Saturday from the fracture suffered in the fifth metatarsal of the right foot.
The intervention will be in Belo Horizonte, a prosperous city in the southeast region, where the doctor of Selecao, Rodrigo Lasmar, is based.
Looking for privacy, Neymar could disembark directly on Friday at the heliport of the hospital, according to the local press, full of conjecture about the movements of the idol.
Although since landing early Thursday in Rio, the Brazilians have had to settle for the few images captured by the surprised passengers who traveled with him from Paris, and saw him disembark in a wheelchair, protected by a cap and black glasses.
From there, ‘Ney’ would have taken his private jet to his luxurious villa on the coast of Rio.
– Calculator –
Neymar arrives in Rio de Janeiro on a plane from Paris on March 1, 2018, prior to an operation for a broken foot.
What happens next is another of the unknowns of this week that began with an initially bland fall of Neymar and ended with a whole country reporting.
“It is not a simple fissure of the toe of the foot, it is a fracture of an important bone (the fifth metatarsus) in the middle of the foot (…) The period (of recovery) will be around two months and a half and three months”, Dr. Lasmar explained when he arrived in Rio, shooting the mathematics.
In the worst case, Neymar could be ready just two weeks before Brazil’s debut against Switzerland on June 17 in Rostov.
PSG calculations had been ruined for hours, as soon as it was learned that the player for whom he paid 222 million euros in August had opted for a surgery that will force him to miss the most important game of the season, the one against Tuesday. Real Madrid for the return of the knockout stages of the European Champions League.
Gone were the denials of the PSG coach, Unai Emery, and the initial caution of the club: Neymar returned to Brazil to undergo surgery, betting all season to the World Cup with which Seleçao dreams of closing the wounds of four years ago.
– Earthquake –
But the road to Russia will not be easy. With the clock against, the star awaits a recovery of which no details are yet known.
His unexpected loss also caused an earthquake in the planning of Tite, who saw the friendlies against Russia and Germany in March as key pieces in their preparation. Affected by a wave of casualties, the coach had to postpone for ten days the call scheduled for this Friday, the last before the final list in May.
The injuries of Neymar
Part of the destiny of the architect of the applauded resurrection of the ‘canarinha’ will also be in the hands of Dr. Lasmar on Saturday, although there are also those who already see his team strong enough, beyond the figures.
The Seleçao “has no Pele,” said former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during an interview with AFP, which also referred to the issue of the moment in this country that lives football like nobody else.
“Brazil is going to arrive competitively, it has a good technician, Tite is very balanced and if something is not missing our players is international experience because they all play outside,” he said.
History is also on the side of the optimists, who remember the harrowing months that preceded the World Cup in 2002, with Ronaldo and Rivaldo recovering from injuries.
Afflicted with several problems, ‘O Fenómeno’ just played ten games that season and ended up being a striker for the fifth, and last, Cup that lifted Brazil.
“Imagine the same thing happens with Neymar and he arrives rested to play the matches in the Russian fields, free of the wear imposed by the European Champions League, differently from what can happen with Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, De Bruyne”, wrote the renowned journalist Juca Kfouri in the Folha de Sao Paulo.
Now, Brazil dreams of repeating history.