Neymar begins assault

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Jun 2018 09:52:49


SOCHI (Russia),

FOR three months, a whole nation feared it might not happen, but Neymar will take to the field with his Brazilian team-mates when they kick off their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on Sunday.
The world’s most expensive player appears to have recovered fully from the fractured foot that required an operation in March, with the only slight concern being his possible lack of match fitness.

Since suffering the injury in Paris Saint-Germain’s game against Marseille in late February, Neymar has managed just 129 minutes on the field. But those minutes came in Brazil’s recent warm-up friendlies, with a goal from the bench against Croatia and then a brilliant strike in a win in Austria last weekend.

“After three months, and having played just a game and a half, he is already playing at a high level. Nobody expected that. Not even him,” Thiago Silva, a close friend of Neymar’s and a club team-mate at PSG, said in a report on Brazilian website Globoesporte.

The 26-year-old, who saw his time on the sidelines as one of the lowest points in his career so far, has looked in excellent spirits this week as Tite’s Brazil squad settle into their Russian base — the speculation about his club future, and links with Real Madrid, seem far away right now.

Neymar has been laughing and joking with his team-mates on the training pitch in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, and took time to sign autographs and pose for pictures with supporters at an open training session on Tuesday.

He will be in the starting line-up in Rostov-on-Don, for what will be his first game at a World Cup since being taken off with a fractured vertebra in Brazil’s win against Colombia as hosts in the 2014 quarter-finals.