Brazil legend and 2002 FIFA World Cup hero Ronaldo has penned an open letter to Neymar, backing him to bounce back stronger, sharper, and hungrier than ever.
Brazil frontman Neymar endured an ankle injury in Selecao’s 2-0 win over Serbia in their first 2022 FIFA World Cup fixture on Thursday (24 November). A section of Brazilian fans inside the Lusail Iconic Stadium celebrated the Paris Saint-Germain superstar’s injury as he came hobbling off the field.
Neymar needs protecting
Ronaldo has slammed the Selecao fans who celebrated Neymar’s injury and ensured the No. 10 that real fans had nothing but love for him. His open letter read (via Khaleej Times):
“I am sure that most Brazilians, like me, admire and love you. Your talent, by the way, has taken you so far, so high, that there is love and admiration for you in every corner of the world.
“And it is also for this reason, for having reached where you have, for the success you have achieved, that you have to deal with so much envy and malice.”
Ronaldo’s letter continued:
“On a level of celebrating the injury of a star like you, with a story like yours. How far have we come? What world is this? What message are we passing on to our young people? There will always be people rooting against you, but it is sad to see society on a path of trivialising intolerance, of normalising hate speech.
“It is against this verbal violence with destructive power that I write to you today: Come back stronger! Smarter! Hungry for goals! The good you do on and off the field is much greater than envy towards you.”
Ronaldo then added that Tite’s side needed his goals, creativity, and joy, backing him to bounce back stronger than ever.
Ronaldo concluded by saying:
“Don’t forget for a second the journey that made you a world football idol. Brazil loves you! The real fans – the ones who are in favour – need your goals, dribbles, boldness and joy! Celebrate the love that comes from most of your country. You will bounce back! And may all the hate turn into fuel.”
Neymar to miss Brazil’s next two 2022 FIFA World Cup Group G games
Tite’s side secured a commanding 2-0 win over Serbia in their 2022 FIFA World Cup opener, with Richarlison scoring both of their goals. Another win over Switzerland on Monday (28 November) will guarantee their passage to the Round of 16. Unfortunately, for the five-time FIFA World Cup winners, they will not have the genius of Neymar to guide them against a tricky Swiss side in their second Group G clash.
As confirmed by team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, the PSG man has ankle ligament damage, which is expected to keep him out until the knockout round. Right-back Danilo is also expected to miss Brazil’s next two 2022 FIFA World Cup Group G matches against Switzerland and Cameroon.
The official bulletin read (via the BBC):
“Neymar and Danilo went through an MRI on Friday afternoon and we found ligament damage in the ankle of both of them.
“It is important to be calm and evaluate day by day. The idea is to recover them for the rest of the competition.”
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