Brazil Coach Tite: Neymar Was 'Not at All' at Risk of Injury for Nigeria Match

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2019

Brazil's forward Neymar (L) shakes hands with team coach Tite as he leaves the field during an international friendly football match between Brazil and Nigeria at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Roslan RAHMAN has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [October 13] instead of [October 12]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may re
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Brazil manager Tite has defended his decision to play Neymar in Sunday's friendly against Nigeria, saying the Paris Saint-Germain star was not at risk of injury before the match.

He ended up having to be replaced in the 13th minute by Philippe Coutinho in the 1-1 draw in Singapore and left the field clutching his hamstring:

Per Globoesporte.com (h/t ESPN FC), Brazil's team doctor said Neymar was not in pain, a potential boost for PSG as they await a full prognosis.

Per ESPN FC, Tite said Neymar was "not at all" at risk before the match, and he would not have played him if he was:

"It would be irresponsible and incompetent of me [to play him if he was a doubt]. I would have to receive the complaints of the coach and the president of PSG if that happened."

As it is, the hierarchy at PSG are still unlikely to be that happy with Tite despite his belief that Neymar was ready to play.

The 27-year-old had only recently been reintegrated into the side at the Parc des Prince after a summer in which he tried to force a move away.

He has said he is happy at the club, and he has been in impressive form, netting four goals in five Ligue 1 appearances this season:

Neymar has been unlucky with injuries during his time at PSG.

He has had to watch from the sidelines in both 2017-18 and 2018-19 as the French giants have been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League, and he has played only 42 Ligue 1 games out of a possible 85 since his record-breaking transfer to the French capital.

Neymar was forced off against Nigeria with the score at 0-0, and Brazil subsequently went 1-0 behind to Joe Aribo's well-taken 35th-minute goal.

Casemiro duly equalised just after the break and Brazil piled pressure on the Super Eagles for the majority of the second half. But they had to settle for a draw. 

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