Neymar makes scoring return as Brazil breeze into quarter-finals
Neymar said he had feared the World Cup might be over for him after hobbling off in his first match for Brazil in Qatar with a heavily swollen ankle, making his scoring return in Monday’s 4-1 last-16 win over South Korea all the sweeter.
Neymar converted a 13th-minute penalty to make it 2-0 to the five-time champions against the Asian side in his first appearance for Brazil since his injury against Serbia on November 24.
“The night I got injured was very hard for me because I had a thousand things in my head — doubts, fears — but I had the support of my teammates and my family,” he told reporters, saying he had cried that evening.
“I had to find strength where there wasn’t any.”
The 30-year-old thanked his fans for their messages of support and Brazil’s medical team for their work on his recovery, adding that he felt no pain in his ankle in Monday’s match.
Brazil are due to face Croatia in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday. They beat Japan on penalties earlier on Monday after their last-16 tie finished 1-1.