Neymar Ruled Out Of Copa América After Rupturing Ankle Ligaments During Friendly

The 27-year-old's season of discontent continues.

When Brazil opens play at the 2019 Copa América in eight days time, it’ll do so without the influential Neymar. During last night’s friendly against Qatar, the 27-year-old was on the receiving end of a robust but fair challenge from Assim Madibo, ultimately resulting in a ligament rupture in his right ankle

Neymar had just returned to the pitch back in mid-April after spending 85 days on the sidelines due to a broken bone in his right foot, but after tallying two goals and one assist in his final two Ligue 1 appearances for PSG, Brazilians believed he’d be at his best as the Seleção attempted to capture the Copa for the first time since 2007. 

Following his missteps at last summer’s World Cup, a major international tournament on home soil represented a massive shot at redemption for the player who’d fallen from third in 2017 Ballon d’Or voting to 12th in 2018. 

But that opportunity is gone. 

The good news for Brazil is that the list of players who could be called upon to replace Neymar in the squad includes Vinícius Júnior, Lucas Moura, Willian and Douglas Costa. That’s Brazil for you.

The host nation begins its Copa campaign on June 14 against Bolivia in São Paulo. That’s followed by a June 18 match against Venezuela in Salvador, and then group play is completed with a cracker against Peru on June 22 back in São Paulo. 

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