This was Neymar’s game against Serbia

LUSAIL – His image on the substitute bench, with his head covered by his jersey and ice on his right ankle, was more powerful than the rest of his opaque appearance. Neymar had to leave the field in Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Serbia, in the debut of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

He was the one everyone went to see. And logically his presence never goes unnoticed. He arrived on the court with his little chain in his mouth and his striking gold headphones. He entered the locker room to pure dance.

He was the last to appear in the warm-up. He touched the grass, prayed and received a standing ovation. He thanked the silver for their support with applause and clenched fists as a sign of “strength.”

His sights between his brows, he kicked into the empty arc before beginning the warm-up. In full “crazy”, he did the same: a loose ball was left and he did not hesitate to put it inside the goal. When it was time to warm up his foot, he nailed a right cross into the net, another deflected, a free kick off the crossbar and the last one was taken off by Ederson.

As expected, there was an explosion among the 88,000 people when the voice of the stadium announced Brazil’s second all-time goalscorer (75, two goals behind Pelé).

True to form, he was the last in line to enter the field. Clap hands, individual greeting with Alisson, Lucas Paquetá, Marquinhos and the rest. Group hug near the middle of the field, Richarlison’s touch of the ball and off to play.

LOST OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN THE FIRST HALF

After 19 seconds they already made him feel the rigor with a bump and after 5 minutes, Strahinja Pavlovic committed a foul and ended up with a yellow card.

A curious situation arose at 8: Sasa Lukic pressed him on the side and a piece of his shirt came off. What did Ney do? He took it all off and put it back on. A minute later, he unloaded luxury for Casemiro, went to look for the area, received from the current Manchester United midfielder and tried to get men off him, but could not prosper.

There was only one moment in which he was failed: when he had to take a corner from the left, where a large number of Serbian fans were concentrated. In that corner kick he proved the Olympic goal and when it was repeated, he kicked into the goalkeeper’s hands.

Lukic rudely marked him again and the PSG forward rolled on the floor. His response was to try to face, but he lost to Andrija Zivkovic and then Nicolas Milenkovic anticipated him. Not being able to enter, he tried from outside. However, his shot bounced off Milos Veljkovic.

He couldn’t beat Dusan Tadic either: when he tried to pass him, he lost the ball. He was also encouraged with a pipe and the other 10 forced him to end up on the ground.

Milenkovic intercepted what was going to be a fine assist and then lost the duel to Nemanja Gudelj. At 43 minutes into the game, it was evident how Dragan Stojkovic’s team bothered him when he had to get rid of three rivals to play with Raphinha. In the last part of the first half, he faced a dominated ball from his field and opened badly for the right.

THE GOALS ARRIVED, BUT THE MAGIC OF NEY WAS MISSING

For the start of the plugin, your willingness to enter last exceeded the limit. He put on his shirt inside the field and tied his booty when 15 seconds were already played. A few seconds later, Raphinha wasted a one-on-one and Neymar demanded a pass to the side.

At 3′, when he was dangerously facing the area of ​​the European team, Gudelj swept him and became the 2nd yellow card because of the Brazilian number 10. The free kick, ideal for the punch of the PSG man, bounced off the wall and went to the corner.

In a flurry, he almost manages to open the scoring. First he jumped on the dove and did not reach it after a cross from Vinicius Junior on the left and on the next play, he managed to connect with his left foot, but he did it in a bad way and the ball went wide.

Until Richarlison appeared to break the zero. At 62′, Ney feinted inside the area and the ball fell to Vinicius Junior, who touched the middle for the Tottenham striker to push it into the net. And 11 minutes later, Verdeamarela’s number 9 nailed a sensational volley for 2-0.

As everyone celebrated, doctors sprayed his right foot for what appeared to be a sprain. Tite took note and replaced him with Antony with 11 minutes remaining.

The images of his lament on the substitute bench quickly went viral. In fact, he did not even go out to celebrate with his teammates at the end of the game. The focus was changed. The Brazilian joy was not complete. He has a concern called Neymar.

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