Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Neymar lands in Russia, Messi casts doubt over World Cup future


He would not confirm, however, that the same side would start Brazil's opening World Cup game against Switzerland on 17 June.

Sunday's match suggested that Brazil could start the World Cup in Russian Federation with the so-called magic quartet of Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Gabriel Jesus and Neymar.

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has spoken of fears over his fitness holding up following a broken metatarsal in February and he was forced to withstand some robust challenges before a wonderful solo effort made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute - his 55th global goal sending him level with Romario in third on Brazil's all-time scoring chart.

That goal was Neymar's 55th for the Seleção, with only Pele and Ronaldo scoring more. Hindustan Times delivers the news across all social media platforms, on the web, and at your doorstep. He was unmarked on the left side of the area when Marcelo's deflected shot came his way and he curled the ball past Lindner before it hit the far post and went in.

Brazil arrived in Russian Federation on Monday hungry to make amends for their World Cup humiliation in 2014 with Neymar apparently fighting fit, as Lionel Messi cast doubt over his global future.

Neymar Jr. and Philippe Coutinho added to the goal tally during the second half of the friendly match.

Speaking to reporters, Neymar said: "For me it is a great honour, great happiness to reach Romario, to be among the top scorers of the Brazilian team".

"That gives you confidence".

"We got ready for the UFC today, but it was good".

Brazil couldn't deliver when they were the hosts but with Neymar back and the attack firing on all cylinders, this could certainly be their year.

Brazil made it to the semi finals on home soil, but the lack of a genuine centre forward meant their challenge was always likely to falter, although nobody could have predicted the wheels would fall off quite so spectacularly against Germany in that infamous 7-1 defeat.

Roberto Firmino's incredible season with Liverpool led to increasing calls in Brazil for Tite to find a place for him in the starting XI, mostly by giving him Jesus' spot in attack.

"Spain and Germany I also like, but Brazil would be my idea of the strongest team".

Like this: