Neymar ruled out of the Copa America after damaging ankle ligaments

Neymar to miss entire Copa America

Neymar has been ruled out of this summer's Copa America, after damaging ankle ligaments in last night's friendly win over Qatar. Tite's side cruised to a 2-0 victory in Brasilia last night but were dealt a huge blow when their star striker hobbled off after just 17 minutes. It has since been confirmed that the 27-year-old ruptured a ligament in his ankle and will now miss the entire Copa America, which begins next Friday (14th).

Everton forward Richarlison put the hosts in front just a minute before Neymar's exit, before Manchester City front man Gabriel Jesus doubled their advantage just eight minutes later.

Neymar was taken to hospital immediately after being helped off the pitch, with team-mates and supporters hopeful that the injury was just a twisted ankle and not serious. Unfortunately, the extent of the injury means that Brazil will head into the tournament without their talisman, though they still have an abundance of quality to rely on - especially in the attacking areas.

Last night's goalscorers, Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus partner Liverpool's Roberto Firmino, West Ham's Felipe Anderson, Ajax youngster David Neres and Grêmio's Éverton Sousa Soares in the final-third selection pool, so it is unlikely the host nation will struggle to find the net at the Copa America.

Brazil head coach, Tite, said on Monday that Neymar was "indispensable" but not "irreplaceable", just a week after stripping the PSG star of the captaincy. He will be a miss for the team, but the Canarinho's still remain solid favourites to go the distance and clinch their first Copa America title in 12 years this summer due to the depth they have in this current squad.

This isn't the first injury setback Neymar has experienced this season, the former Barcelona man spent three months on the sidelines between January and April this year after breaking a metatarsal in his right foot.

That untimely knock ruled him out of Paris-Saint Germain's two-legged Champions League clash against Manchester United, where the French champions were again knocked out of the competition following an unlikely comeback from the Red Devils at the Parc des Princes.

He also missed three months of last season after undergoing surgery on the same injury, returning just weeks before the World Cup in Russia.

Brazil have one final friendly match before their Copa America campaign kicks off next week. The South Americans welcome Honduras this Friday at the Estádio José Pinheiro Borda, before taking on Bolivia in São Paulo next Friday. The 2007 champions then face Venezuela and Peru before June comes to an end.


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