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Neymar in a race to be fit for Russia – will he win it?

| 01.06.2018

Egypt may be sweating on the fitness of their talisman Mohamed Salah ahead of the World Cup in Russia next month.

However, Brazil equally have to sit tight and hope their star player can make a full recovery too.

The South American side play their opening game of the tournament against Switzerland in just under three weeks.

And the whole nation will be praying Neymar can recover from his season-ending injury.

The 26-year-old has not played since fracturing his foot back in February. He revealed he’s still not ‘100%’ fit.

“I’m not yet at 100 per cent. That will come with time,” he admitted.

However, the most expensive footballer in world football is intent on making it to the competition and playing a major part.

“I feel good physically. My foot is fine. Of course I have to adjust to certain things.

“I’m feeling a bit of discomfort but it’s not going to stop me from playing.”

The Brazil captain had been in scintillating form for Paris St. Germain before getting crocked.

Neymar had notched 28 goals and laid on another 18 assists in his 30 appearances for the French club.

However, his season was cut short in the 3-0 win over Marseille in February.

Neymar guided his country to the semi-final four years ago. However, injuries struck again as he fractured a vertebra that ruled him out of that infamous 7-1 Germany win.

“I hope that dream is not interrupted once more and that it is consolidated with a title for us.”

Nonetheless he will be eager to play alongside compatriots Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus in arguably the most exciting attacking trio in the tournament.

Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino will feel like he has warranted a starting spot in Tite’s first eleven. The former Hoffenheim forward is used to being a central part of an attacking triumvirate.

He’s often drawn plaudits for his spatial awareness and unselfish movement.

However, Neymar has travelled to London as Brazil step up their World Cup preparations.

The team face Croatia at Anfield on Sunday and then travel to Austria for their final warm-up game a week later.

If the forward can play some part in these fixtures then he’ll be confident to take on the Swiss in just under three weeks’ time.



Charlie Dear

Charlie has covered sport for the likes of The Guardian, Football365 and FourFourTwo. Arsenal sufferer. German football enthusiast.