Cristiano Ronaldo made history on Thursday by becoming the first player to score at least one goal in five World Cups while another global star, Neymar, gave his supporters cold sweats by spraining himself in the right ankle in Brazil’s victory over Serbia.
The playmaker of the Auriverde, last in line in this first round of the World Cup, was replaced in the 80th minute of the match won by Brazil 2-0, immediately removing his right shoe and shin guard and giving the photographers’ lenses the pigeon’s egg that formed on its malleolus.
He suffers from a sprained right ankle, announced in the evening the doctor of the Brazilian federation, Rodrigo Lasmar. “We have to wait between 24 and 48 hours to have another assessment” of the seriousness of this injury and a possible unavailability of the player, he added.
Facing the press, Brazil coach Tite showed his confidence. “Neymar will play again in this World Cup,” he said firmly. The player, for his part, limped across the mixed zone where footballers and journalists meet. Without answering questions.
Cristiano Ronaldo was hardly more verbose in the face of the press. “Being the first player to score in five World Cups is something that makes me very proud,” said the Portuguese star, 37, who scored from the penalty spot against Ghana (3-2) in Portugal’s first match at the 2022 World Cup.
– New chapter in the Ronaldo legend –
The Portuguese, who has just terminated his contract with Manchester United by mutual agreement after a public flamethrower dispute, assured that this soap opera “would not shake” his selection. And he brought a first proof of it on Thursday.
Already top scorer in the history of selection football, a status he confirmed on Thursday (he is now at 118 goals in 192 caps), he added a new chapter to his already great legend on Thursday. He will meet next Monday Uruguay of Suarez and Cavani, who did not find the fault against South Korea during an alert but scoreless match.
With Brazil’s victory over Serbia, the 32 nations involved in the 22nd World Cup have now played their first match.
And beyond the concerns that will hover around Neymar’s right ankle, Brazil have confirmed their status as big favorites for a sixth coronation, twenty years after their last coronation.
Because Brazil, which “King” Pelé urged to “bring the trophy home”, has done nothing to undeceive those who fear it: with its ultra-offensive scheme with four attackers, the Auriverde selection has given the stunned at Serbia, yet resistant for an hour, until delivering the thrust by Richarlison, with a fox goal from the surfaces (62nd) then a memorable acrobatic control-scissor sequence that will play in a loop on all televisions of the planet (73rd).
Brazil will face Switzerland on Monday, who made a rather successful debut in Group G by beating Cameroon (1-0), thanks to a goal from Breel Embolo, born in Cameroon but who chose to play for the “Nati”. .
– The Mannschaft punished? –
In this World studded with extra-sporting controversies, the president of Fifa Gianni Infantino will have finally spent a quieter day on Thursday than the day before.
Of the seven European selections to have considered wearing the inclusive “One Love” armband before giving up in the face of threats of sporting sanctions from Fifa, Switzerland was the only one to appear on the program for the fifth day of the tournament.
Helvetian captain Granit Xhaka had previously said he would not follow the example of the Germans who publicly marked their dissatisfaction with pressure from Fifa ahead of their loss to Japan by putting their hand in front of their mouth in the official photo: ” I don’t think we have to do anything as a Swiss team. We have to respect the rules and focus on football.”
And the Swiss followed the instructions of their master to play, remaining neutral before the kick-off of their game.
One question though. Will Fifa, very silent on the subject, react to the German challenge and sanction the “Mannschaft”?