Neymar stretchered off in tears after severe knee injury for Brazil
| Last updated
Neymar's international break ended in heartbreak as the Al Hilal star was stretchered off the pitch against Uruguay in tears.
The 31-year-old's injury was the latest blow to caretaker manager Fernando Diniz's side after they picked up just one point from their last two European Championship qualifying games.
But aside from the defeat, Brazil supporters may have been more concerned by the sight of their star man carted off the field with a seemingly serious knee injury.
Both sets of players swarmed the scene after a challenge from goalscorer de la Cruz left Neymar in a heap on the floor, immediately clutching his knee and screeching in pain.
It doesn’t look good as Neymar was crying 😢— Al Nassr Zone (@TheNassrZone) October 18, 2023
Rivalry aside hope it’s a minor injury & he can be back playing again very soon 🙏 pic.twitter.com/RB9hbR0oSE
He was then stretchered off, covering his eyes as he went down the tunnel. Brazil doctor Rodrigo Lasmar has since provided an update on the winger's condition, outlining the next steps to determine the severity of the injury.
"These 24 hours will be important to see how the knee will respond, how will be the swelling," he said.
"Imaging tests that will define a definitive diagnosis. It's too early to say [if it's a ligament injury]. Let's wait for the exams calmly, evaluate calmly, and as soon as we have a definition we will let you know."
Neymar was later pictured leaving the Estadio Centenario on crutches and a splint supporting his left leg in a worrying sight for supporters.
Neymar leaving the stadium.— Neymoleque | Fan 🇧🇷 (@Neymoleque) October 18, 2023
Even after such a horrible injury, he still makes time for a young fan. pic.twitter.com/xZ5sCurrhQ
The former Champions League winner made the popular switch to the Saudi Pro League over the summer, joining Al Hilal from Paris Saint-Germain for an eye-watering €90 million (£78m).
However, the former Barcelona star hasn't had the easiest start to life in the Middle East after reports accused him of being involved in a dressing room fight.
While he saw his penalty saved against Al Shabab, before netting his first goal the following match.
But despite the criticism against him, Brazil boss Dinaz launched a passionate defence of the forward ahead of their clash against Uruguay, insisting he is one of the "greatest players in world football".
"No coach in the world would give up on Neymar with the hunger he has and the desire he has," Diniz said (via ESPN)
"Again, [against Venezuela] he was decisive, he provided an assist. I already said that Neymar is one of the greatest players in the history of Brazilian football and world football."
"One thing worth mentioning is Neymar's numbers, he is first in almost all important aspects for a striker," Diniz said. "First in goals, assists, goal participation, dribbling, first in a score on the specialised website... the numbers explain why he is here."
SPORTbible are on WhatsApp! We've launched a dedicated news channel to send you the latest news, features and plenty more directly on WhatsApp and all you need to do to sign up is click through to our one-way broadcast channel here for 'SPORTbible News' to appear in the 'Updates' tab on your WhatsApp.