Brazil Star Neymar Ruled Out of 2019 Copa America with Ankle Injury

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2019

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - JUNE 05: Neymar Jr. of Brazil reacts during the International Friendly Match between Brazil and Qatar at Mane Garrincha Stadium on June 5, 2019 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Neymar will miss the 2019 Copa America with Brazil after he suffered an injury to his right ankle in Wednesday's 2-0 friendly win over Qatar.

Goal relayed a statement from the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF):

"After suffering a sprain in his right ankle during Wednesday's game against Qatar, Neymar was evaluated and subjected to complementary imaging tests that confirmed a ligament rupture in the ankle.

"Due to the seriousness of the injury, Neymar will not have the physical conditions and sufficient recovery time to participate in the Copa America Brazil 2019. 

"As of this Thursday, the technical committee of the Brazilian National Team will begin the definition of a substitute.

Neymar was withdrawn from the match after just 21 minutes and left the pitch in tears.

He was inconsolable on the bench and had to be helped down the tunnel:

Goal @goal

OFFICIAL | Brazil have confirmed that Neymar is out of the Copa America with a ruptured ligament in his right ankle. https://t.co/0R6Z0AeZGW

The injury concludes a miserable season for the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

Though PSG won Ligue 1, a recurrence of the broken fifth metatarsal he suffered last year kept him out from January 23 to April 21.

Upon his return to action, an altercation with a fan after PSG's shock Coupe de France final defeat to Rennes resulted in a three-match domestic ban.

He will be suspended for the same number of games in next season's UEFA Champions League for insulting match officials on social media after the Parisians crashed out of the competition to Manchester United in the round of 16.

Last season, Neymar also suffered a torn ankle ligament at the same time as his broken metatarsal, the same ankle he has injured this time around.

Off the pitch, a woman told Brazil police on Friday the 27-year-old raped her in a Paris hotel room on May 15, which he denies.

His injury is a significant blow to Brazil's chances at the Copa America, as he is their most reliable source of goals, having netted 60 times for the Selecao.

Brazil boast a number of options who can occupy his slot on the left of the front three, though, including Ajax's David Neres, Gremio's Everton and Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho.

The Selecao face Honduras in their final warm-up match on Sunday before kicking off the tournament against Bolivia on June 14. That friendly will provide an opportunity for one of them to stake a claim for a starting berth in Neymar's absence.