Football

Brazil doc: Neymar is fit to play

BIG SPLASH: A picture released last Monday by the Brazilian football federation shows (from far right) Neymar, Hulk, Dani Alves, and and captain Thiago Silva during a session at the training complex in Teresopoli. PHOTOS: AFP

Brazil striker Neymar may be spared from training to give his thigh and knee injuries a chance to heal but he is expected to be fit for Friday's World Cup quarter-final against Colombia, team doctor Jose Luiz Runco said on Monday.

The Barcelona striker, 22, was ineffective during much of Brazil's last-16 win over Chile after he suffered early knocks on the right knee and left thigh.

However, although he left the field for treatment, he played on and scored Brazil's final penalty in the 3-2 shootout win after the match ended 1-1 in extra time.

Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said the injuries were the reason for his unusually quiet showing and he will be allowed to miss training if necessary, reported Reuters.

Meanwhile, Neymar said the pressure of the penalty shootout aged him a few years, reported goal.com.

When Neymar went forward to take Brazil's fifth penalty both sides had missed two and scored two.

He scored before Gonzalo Jara's miss secured the win for Brazil.

Neymar said the long walk from the centre circle to the penalty spot was almost unbearable.

"It was like travelling 5 kms," Neymar told Mundo Deportivo.

""I had aged many years. It was an age before hitting the penalty and now I am many years older."

On Monday, most of the first team did light gym work at the squad's base in Teresopolis, around 100 km from Rio de Janeiro.

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who was the hero of the win after saving two Chilean penalties, was the only first-choice player to train, alongside fellow keepers Victor and Jefferson.

Runco said defender David Luiz, who passed a late fitness test on a sore back before the Chile game, had "recovered well" and was practically 100 per cent fit again, reported Reuters.

The team's only other injury concern is Luiz Gustavo, who Runco said is complaining of a sore knee. However, the midfielder will miss the next game after picking up two yellow cards and so has time to recover.


It was like travelling 5km.

- Neymar on his walk from the centre circle to the penalty spot

World Cup