International Football

Neymar Injury Scare Reported Ahead of Brazil vs. Uruguay World Cup Qualifier

Brazilian national football team coach Dunga (R) speaks with his player Neymar during a training session at the Granja Comary sports complex in Teresopolis, 90 km from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 22, 2016. Brazil will face Uruguay on March 25 and Paraguay March 29 in FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 South American qualifier matches.                AFP PHOTO/VANDERLEI ALMEIDA / AFP / VANDERLEI ALMEIDA        (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)
VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/Getty Images
Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2016

Barcelona forward Neymar pulled up in training with Brazil on Wednesday ahead of his team's clash with Uruguay in World Cup qualifying on Friday, but he will reportedly be fit to take part in the contest.

As reported by Juan Jimenez of AS, the Brazilian Football Confederation released a statement adding further details: "Neymar had some muscle discomfort and told the team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, who brought him to the medical centre in Teresopolis. He underwent some tests that have not revealed any injury whatsoever. The attacker can continue to train and will be fit to face Uruguay."

According to Jimenez, the Brazilian press has been critical of the forward in the buildup to the game, as he arrived with the national team a day later than his Barcelona team-mates, including Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano, who are also on international duty in South America with their respective nations.

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 26: Neymar Jr of Brazil celebrates his goal during the international friendly match between France and Brazil at Stade de France on March 26, 2015 in Saint-Denis near Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Neymar has been in tremendous form for his club this term and, as the national team captain, is likely to be a key figure for the Selecao when they get host Uruguay, who will include his team-mate Suarez, on Friday.

Aside from the points being at stake, it's a game that the two clubmates have reportedly wagered something else on too, per Goal (h/t Bleacher Report UK):

At the moment, Dunga's men are in third position in the CONMEBOL qualifying group, having won twice, drawn once and lost once. Uruguay are two points ahead in second.

While he's impressed all with some dazzling displays in Barcelona colours, arguably Neymar's best performances have come in the iconic gold jersey in his career to date. He has played 69 times in total for the national team, already netting an impressive 46 goals; only Pele, Ronaldo, Romario and Zico have netted more for Brazil.

Neymar is enjoying a wonderful campaign.
Neymar is enjoying a wonderful campaign.Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

As we can see, courtesy of these statistics from Mister Chip, the bigger the stage, the better Neymar seems to perform:

Neymar's absence would have been a big worry for Dunga. Memories of the team's surrender without their stricken striker in the semi-final of the 2014 World Cup—in which they were humbled 7-1 by Germany—still linger, while last summer, Brazil never quite looked as menacing when their captain, red-carded against Colombia, was suspended.

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