Copa America 2024: Jimmy Butler joins Neymar in stands for Brazil’s opener

The nine-time champions, Brazil, opened their Copa America 2024 campaign with a goalless draw against Costa Rica on Tuesday morning (IST) at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Brazil star forward Neymar Jr., who has not been included in the squad due to his injury, was spotted in the stands supporting his national team and he was accompanied by his close friend and NBA superstar Jimmy Butler.

Brazil dominated Costa Rica in ball possession, shot attempts, and passes among other match statistics, however, a resolute Los Ticos held Selecao to a goalless draw. In Group D, Brazil and Costa Rica are placed alongside Colombia and Paraguay with  Néstor Lorenzo’s side leading the group with a win against Paraguay in their first match.

Saudi club Al-Hilal’s star forward Neymar Jr. has not been included in the Brazilian squad for the Copa America 2024 as he failed to recover from the injury he sustained during Brazil’s 2-0 loss against Uruguay in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in October 2023. However, the 32-year-old was in attendance during Brazil’s opener against Costa Rica and he was accompanied by Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler.

In the 30th minute, Brazil defender Marquinhos found the back of the net and  Neymar and Butler celebrated the goal with the 6-time NBA All-Star waving the Brazilian flag. However, a VAR check disallowed the goal as the PSG defender was caught offside.

Watch the video here:

Neymar is currently recovering from his knee injury in the USA and was spotted with Butler on many occasions. The duo was joined by American boxer Ryan Garcia, Dan Bilzerian, YouTuber Ninja, and others to play poker on Saturday at the Hustler Casino in Los Angeles, which was billed as the ‘greatest event in poker history’.

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