The one thing Brazil fans do not want to see during this Fifa World Cup 2018 is Neymar limping away from a football pitch. While this one does not seem as serious as the last time Neymar had to be taken away during the World Cup, there are, understandably, concerns.
While training for Brazil, Neymar, who only just returned from a broken foot suffered earlier this year while at PSG, stopped midway and decided to walk-off the pitch, leading to questions if the main man for one of the pre-tournament favourites would be fit enough for the next game.
It was as the Brazil players were playing rondo – a training exercise where one player tries to nick the ball away from the others – that Neymar seemed to suffer, clutching at his ankle, before deciding it was too painful to continue.
The Brazil football federation (CBF), knowing social media and everyone who supports Brazil would be jumping to the worst-possible conclusions, quickly put out a statement to try and allay their fears, saying the 26 year old is fine and the ankle problem was a result of the kicking he received at the hands of Switzerland, who held the Selecao to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
"Neymar left the training session with some pain in his right ankle because of the number of fouls he suffered in the game against Switzerland," Vinicius Rodrigues, a spokesman for the CBF said. "Since today (Tuesday) was only a recovery session for the starters, and he complained about pain, he ended going to rehabilitation."
The statement also added that Neymar would return to normal training on Wednesday, with just two days to go before Brazil play their second group game of the Fifa World Cup 2018 – a must-win against Costa Rica.
It does seem, with the statement, the CBF are trying to send a message to Fifa and their referees to try and cut out the treatment meted out to Neymar.
Against Switzerland, Neymar was at the receiving end of several fouls – expected when you are THE player of the team – with the Brazil man going down clutching his ankles pretty much every time, seemingly writhing in pain.
Going by Neymar's reactions, you would have felt the player was being meted out some serious punishment, but to be fair to the Switzerland team, the vast majority of those fouls were just tiny, niggly ones, the kind that most players, of Neymar's ilk, suffer through the course of the 90 minutes.
These minds games are normal as we build up to any game, and while Brazil are trying their best to protect their biggest asset, Neymar also needs to, well, grow up; understand that football is a contact sport, he will get fouled and targeted and if that targeting goes beyond a certain point, the referee will be there to take care of it.
His role, as the talisman, is to get on with the game and do what he does best, particularly in the yellow and blue of Brazil – score goals.