Anilava Chatterjee, Qatar: In what comes as a huge boost for the Brazil camp, Neymar Jr is fully fit. According to coach Tite, the star striker will be ready to start in the pre-quarter final clash against South Korea.
Neymar was seen practicing with the ball during Brazil’s training session on Sunday at the Al Arabi Stadium. After taking a few shots at the goal, he was seen warming up with teammates. The Paris Saint Germain forward was in a jovial mood during the training session and did not look uncomfortable since he was coming back after an injury. It has been exactly eight days since Neymar returned to training after getting injured in right ankle in Brazil’s opening fixture against Serbia. He was ruled out of Brazil’s next two group league fixtures against Switzerland and Cameroon.
“Neymar will train today in the afternoon and if he trains well he will play,” Tite said in his pre-match press conference which was also attended by Brazil’s assistant coach Cesar Sampaio and captain Thiago Silva.
In fact, Thiago Silva was asked during the news conference if Neymar would play and Tite took hold of the microphone and said “yes”.
Neymar has suffered many issues with his right foot and underwent surgery four years ago for a fractured metatarsal.
Alex Telles and forward Gabriel Jesus, who sustained a knee injury against Cameroon, were ruled out for the rest of the tournament on Saturday.
Tite said Danilo was also fit to return against South Korea on Monday but Sandro was out.
“He still can’t play. Still recovering. Danilo and Neymar are back,” he said.
Tite stressed that Neymar’s return was with the full backing of the team’s medical staff and the player’s physical health was the priority.
“If he plays, it’s because he is in full health and ready to start, to play from the beginning and the entire game with no limitations,” Tite said.
“My preference is always to play my best players from the start.”
With Neymar back, Tite said there will be no changes in the forward line from the team that started against Serbia, with Lucas Paqueta behind Neymar, Vinicius Jr., Raphinha and Richarlison.