The star of the Brazilian national team Neymar suffered a torn cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee and will undergo surgery, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) reported on Wednesday.
“This is a very sad moment, the worst,” the player said on his social networks, where he thanked supporters for their messages.
According to the CBF press release “the striker for the Brazilian national team and Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia underwent clinical and imaging tests that confirmed the rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee.”
The entity specified that the date of the surgery still needs to be defined. The striker was injured during Brazil’s defeat to Uruguay (2-0) on Tuesday in Montevideo, in a match for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
Neymar left the field before halftime, crying and on a stretcher, after falling to the ground following a collision with Uruguayan midfielder Nicolás De la Cruz.
The striker later left the Centenario stadium on crutches and with a splint immobilizing his left knee.
Neymar: the “worst” moment
His injury automatically rules him out of Brazil’s upcoming challenges in November: a visit to Colombia in Barranquilla and the classic in the Maracanã against Lionel Messi’s Argentina.
“This is a very sad moment, the worst. I know I’m strong, but this time I’ll need my family and friends even more,” the star wrote on Instagram, under a photo of himself on the field, from behind, with the number 10 on his jersey in the foreground.
“It’s not easy to go through an injury and surgery, imagine going through all of that again, after four months of recovery,” the player continued. “I have faith, even too much… but I surrender my strength to God’s hands, so that He can renew mine,” Neymar concluded in the post.
Knee injuries are among the most common and serious in football. A torn anterior cruciate ligament is considered the most serious, and may require surgery that keeps the player off the pitch for a minimum of six months.
Ednaldo Rodrigues, CBF president, said the player has “the entity’s full support.” “Brazilian and world football needs Neymar well and recovered, because football is more joyful with him on the field,” Rodrigues said in a statement.
Injuries in a chain
Neymar, 31, has experienced a year of multiple injuries and discreet performance. He did not play a single official match between February and September, mainly due to a serious ankle injury.
He joined Saudi club Al-Hilal in August, after six seasons at Paris Saint-Germain. During the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the Brazilian star was injured during the Seleção’s first match against Serbia.
He recovered for the round of 16, but could not prevent Brazil’s elimination against Croatia in the quarterfinals, on penalties, despite having scored a goal in extra time.
In September, however, he was able to celebrate having surpassed Pelé as the top scorer for the Brazilian men’s national team by scoring two goals in the 5-1 win over Bolivia in the first matchday of the South American qualifiers for the World Cup.
The striker reached 79 goals in 125 games, compared to the 77 scored by ‘O Rei’ in 92 games played between 1957 and 1971.
‘Ney’ first wore the Brazilian national team jersey on August 10, 2010 in a friendly against the United States and, at 18, scored the first goal of the 2-0 victory.
Since then, he has scored in the 2014, 2018 and 2022 World Cups. He also scored in the 2011, 2015 and 2021 Copa Americas, the 2013 Confederations Cup and South American qualifiers, in addition to preparation matches.