Friday, 22 June, 2018

Neymar dances into hotel as Brazil arrive in Russian Federation

Kristopher Love | 12 June, 2018, 17:26

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.

Neymar's goal in the 63rd minute was even better as he collected the ball on the left of the area, performed a drag-back which left Aleksandar Dragovic on the floor before sending his shot between Lindner's legs.

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.

He came back in the 2-0 friendly victory over Croatia on June 4 and scored a brilliant goal, evading a couple of challenges before blasting in off the crossbar.

Selecao eventually broke the deadlock with 10 minutes remaining in the first-half, with Gabriel Jesus slotting into the far corner from a tight angle.

Brazil begin their World Cup campaign against Switzerland in seven days, safe in the knowledge that star man Neymar, who lasted 84 minutes, and his esteemed supporting cast are in fine order.

"I wanted to pay homage to him in some way because he is an idol".

Costa's return was also good news for Tite.

The Selecao superstar moved to 55 goals in 85 caps, equaling the record of 1994 World Cup victor Romario.

With less than a week to go until the start of the World Cup, anticipation is starting to reach fever pitch.

"You can talk, you're Brazilian and you can dream; we're dreaming more and more". The Brazilian figure dropped from 72 per cent in 2013, the year before the country hosted the World Cup.

Those who like statistics are already salivating: Unless there is an injury, Thiago Silva is set to start the World Cup alongside Miranda in the heart of defence. It saw a seven-match winning streak, including victories over World Cup host Russian Federation and world champion Germany, come to an end.