Football

Neymar pain normal – Coutinho unconcerned by ankle issue

Neymar pain normal – Coutinho unconcerned by ankle issue

Philippe Coutinho is not worried about Neymar after the Brazil star limped out of training with an ankle problem in Sochi on Tuesday.

Neymar, who sat out Monday’s session, suddenly hobbled off the pitch in a worrying sight for Brazil ahead of their crucial World Cup Group E match against Costa Rica on Friday.

Brazil announced Neymar was feeling the effects of a sore ankle after he was fouled 10 times in the surprise 1-1 draw with Switzerland on matchday one.

Coutinho, however, played down any concerns over team-mate Neymar heading into the St Petersburg showdown.

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“I saw the same thing you saw. I haven’t talked to him,” Coutinho told reporters when asked about the 26-year-old leaving the open training session. “It happened almost at the end of practice. I think he felt something but that’s normal.”

Coutinho, who netted a stunning goal to open the scoring against Switzerland, added: “Everybody goes after Neymar. When he’s playing, he gets a lot of fouls. They come strong.

“Of course, our focus is on the collective. One or another player will have a highlight here or there but collective is important. It’s how we think. We will do what we have to do, each and every one of us.”

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