Neymar Admits He Is Not Yet Back To ‘100%’ But Vows To Be Ready For Brazil’s World Cup Opener

Neymar admits he is not yet back to 100 percent but vows to be ready for the World Cup

Neymar admitted on Sunday that he is not 100 percent in shape after a week’s training with Brazil during their World Cup preparations. 

The striker said he still feels discomfort in his recovering right foot but believes he will be better for the tournament in Russia, which begins on June 14.

‘Physically I am well, my foot is fine. I am adapting in a few things. I still feel some discomfort, but it is not something that will trouble me,’ the 26-year-old Neymar told journalists at Brazil’s football confederation headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.

Asked how well he was feeling now, Neymar answered: ‘Not 100 percent yet. But that comes with time. It is normal that I have this fear of making complete movements. Let’s take it easy, there are still many days until the (World Cup) opener and I will be 100 percent then.’

Neymar has not played a match since February but hopes to be on the pitch again in Brazil’s friendly against Croatia on June 3 in Liverpool.

‘I am ready to play, there is nothing that can stop me,’ he said. ‘What I feel today is this fear because I am coming back now.’

The Brazilian was forced to leave the 2014 World Cup with a vertebral fracture suffered in the 2-1 quarter-final victory against Colombia.

‘I hope that dream is not interrupted once more and that it is consolidated with a title for us,’ Neymar said.

During the week at the Granja Comary training camp in Teresopolis, outside Rio, Neymar continued his recovery – dribbling and passing at high speed. Members of Brazil’s coaching staff have tried to reduce pressure on the star by saying it would take time until he delivered his best performances.

Brazil’s 20-man squad will fly to London later on Sunday to continue their World Cup preparations.

Neymar also dismissed rumours that he could leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Asked about links to Real Madrid, he answered: ‘My focus is Brazil, people are saying nonsense and that is not worth answering.’

Champions League winners Casemiro and Marcelo of Real Madrid and runner-up Roberto Firmino of Liverpool will join the group on Wednesday.

Brazil’s football confederation spokesman Vinicius Rodrigues said coach Tite decided to give the three players more time to rest before they join the squad.

The Brazilian squad is set to arrive at London Stansted Airport on Monday morning after boarding a flight at Tom Jobim International Airport in Rio.

Upon arrival in England, Tite’s side will be guests at Tottenham’s Hotspur Way until June 8, using the training facilities and newly-completed players’ Lodge. Their second and final warm-up friendly will come against Austria in Vienna on 10 June.

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