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How Much Will Neymar’s Injury Affect Brazil’s Chances at the World Cup?

Just 38 days away from the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and many questions still abound.  The biggest of those questions is how much affect all of these injuries to key players will have on the outcome of the tournament.

While we know Englishman Theo Walcott and Spanish goalkeeper Victor Valdez have already been ruled out, there are several injured players that may or may not make it back in time for the World Cup.  Even those that do make it back in time, will they be 100% and how effective will they be?

The biggest name on the injury list is Neymar.  The Brazilian superstar sustained a foot injury a few weeks ago, and has been held out by Barcelona– most likely for the remainder of the season.  The hope is that Neymar will be ready in time for the start of the tournament.  How effective will he be after so much time off the pitch?  Will he be at 100%?  If he isn’t at 100%, how close will he actually be?

It’s no secret that Brazil’s chances at a sixth championship ride on the enormous talent that Neymar brings.  The hosts are going to need their star to be at his best to keep their chances of winning it all realistic.  If he is rusty– or worse, not fully healed– how negatively will that affect the Brazilian side?

Neymar has state he will be ready for the World Cup, but how effective will he be?  Brazil still has plenty of talent on its roster–more than most– yet losing Neymar will be extremely painful to Brazil.  Without Neymar, Brazil might no longer be considered a true contender to win it all.

Maybe even at 80% Neymar could compete at higher levels than most, but will 80% be enough to help Brazil reach the top of the mountain a record sixth time?  We have about 38 days or so to begin to find out, and a little over two months to know if Brazil made it to the top or not.

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