Thursday, May 13, 2021

Neymar ‘not at 100 percent’, says Brazil coach Tite


tiamin rice

Brazil’s forward Neymar and teammates take part in a training session at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don on June 16, 2018 on the eve of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group E football match between Brazil and Switzerland. KHALED DESOUKI / AFP

Brazil coach Tite says Neymar is not fully fit but will play some role when the five-time champions open their 2018 World Cup account against Switzerland on Sunday.

The world’s most expensive player had surgery after breaking a foot bone in February and only began playing again in two warmup games for Brazil in the weeks before the World Cup began in Russia.

“He is not 100 percent at the moment but he has exceptional physical qualities, his speed in particular,” Tite said.

“He is always quick and he hasn’t lost that speed, but he is not at 100 percent. I hope he will be fit on Sunday. In any case, he is in a suitable state to play.”

The Paris Saint-Germain star scored fine goals in both of the warmup games and said he felt fine afterwards.

Brazil, seeking to erase the humiliation of their 7-1 drubbing by Germany at the semi-final stage on home soil four years ago, also face Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E.

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