Neymar Promises to Play for Brazil in World Cup

The world’s most expensive player, Neymar acknowledged on Sunday that he was “not yet at 100 percent” after surgery on his fractured right foot, but said he was ready to play for his country at the World Cup.

“I’m not yet at 100 percent. That will come with time. I’m still a bit scared of going all out, but there are still several days before our start,” the Paris Saint-Germain star told reporters at Brazilian football headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.

“It’s going to take a bit more time for this fear to go away, but I’m ready to play. Nothing can stop me from doing so,” Neymar added, hours before a planned flight to London where the team will continue their World Cup preparations.

Neymar played since hurting himself in a French league game against Marseille on February 25, but Neymar has been training for the past 10 days and took part in a national team preparation camp this week in Teresopolis.

“I feel good physically. My foot is fine. Of course I have to adjust to certain things. I’m feeling a bit of discomfort but it’s not going to stop me from playing,” he said.

The 26-year-old also reflected on what was a frustrating 2014 World Cup experience on home soil, as a back injury ruled him out of Brazil’s humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals.

“It’s a dream to play in another World Cup, a dream which I hope won’t be interrupted again,” he said.

Brazil will play two warm-up matches before travelling to Russia, with a friendly against Croatia at Anfield on June 3 before a trip to Vienna to face Austria on June 10.

The five-time world champions play their opening match in Group E against Switzerland on June 17 in Rostov-on-Don. Brazil then face Costa Rica on June 22 in Saint Petersburg and Serbia in Moscow on June 27.


PSG President In Brazil To Visit Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has visited injured superstar Neymar at his luxury home in Brazil amid growing rumors about the striker’s intention to quit PSG.

The star’s father, Neymar Santos Sr, posted the pictures late Monday of the meeting on Instagram. “Visit of the day at @neymarjr! Thanks @PSG,” he wrote.

In one picture, Neymar gives the thumb’s up, flanked by Al-Khelaifi and his father. Another picture shows the club president with Antero Henrique, sports director at PSG, and Jean-Martial Ribes, the club spokesman.

On Tuesday they were expected to visit Neymar’s charity center, the Neymar Junior Institute, in Praia Grande, Sao Paulo state.

The world’s most expensive player broke a bone in his right foot on February 25 and faces weeks of recuperation following surgery in early March.

Unconfirmed media reports are swirling in Europe that Neymar has also grown disenchanted with PSG, who crashed out of the Champions League as the forward missed the second leg on March 6, and wants to return to Barcelona or even join rivals Real Madrid.

Brazil’s national team is hoping the striker will be back to full fitness in time to help lead the campaign at the World Cup starting in Russia on June 14.



Neymar Is Being Pampered Unduely, Brazilians Protest

Neymar Is Being Pampered Unduely, Brazilians Protest

News crews from around the world may competed to be on the front stage to cover Neymar’s foot operation, but some Brazilians would rather see the spotlight on the country’s woes.

No-one here doubts the talent of the 26-year-old star of the Brazilian national team and Paris Saint-Germain. But people aretired of him being treated like a god.

The football’s most expensive player  was operated on Saturday at Mater Dei hospital in the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte.

The private, ultra-modern facility’s tinted windows make it look more like an office building. The roof boasts a chopper pad, which Neymar used when he was released from the hospital on Sunday.

Across the street is a decrepit maternity hospital called Odete Valadares. Like most state-run hospitals in Brazil, it is short on staff and all kinds of equipment, even beds. The pale pink paint is peeling. Several windows are broken.

“We need more beds in the neo-natal emergency room. Sometimes, patients have to sleep on cots,” said Dr. Klaus Morales on Facebook the day of Neymar’s surgery on a broken metatarsal.

“Fifty meters from here in the Mater Dei hospital, Neymar will undergo surgery on a toe,” Morales wrote. “Helicopters are flying over the area non-stop and the news media focus only on this, while our patients here must wait hours to be treated,” said Morales.

The situation was disgraceful, he added.

Dozens of camera crews staked out spots for hours outside the Mater Dei hospital while Neymar was inside — the fate of Brazil team at this year’s World Cup finals could rest on him making a full recovery.

And Neymar’s teammates will sorely miss him when they take on Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday (today).

But no-one was covering the problems that many Brazilians face, said Priscila Silveira, a 28-year-old government employee in Belo Horizonte.

“The public health system is in a state of crisis and we have major crime problems that do not get the attention they deserve in the news media,” she said.

Brazil has one of the world’s highest homicide rates, and after two years of recession that is just now beginning to ease, the jobless rate is almost 12 percent.

“For us, it is hard to see a public figure abroad such as Neymar while we here are suffering because of so many things, such as violence, muggings every day, a terrible public education system, besides all the problems with corruption,” said Aderaldo Pulquerio, 47, a maintenance worker.

The same gripes are heard in Rio de Janeiro, where Geraldo de Oliveira, a 62-year-old taxi driver, could not disguise his anger.

“It is minor surgery on a toe. If that happened to the rest of us, we would not manage to be operated on or treated. But since that guy has money, he can do it,” said de Oliveira.

Among the Neymar fans who turned out Saturday at the Mater Dei hospital was a man in a wheelchair named Sanderson. He carried a sign that read: “I broke my heel and knee. I need your support and that of your medical team.”

Neymar began rehabilitation session on Sunday at his $10m home on the coast near Rio.

His neighbours include celebrities and politicians accused of corruption.

This does not help his popularity, although the player caters to younger fans on social media, always with a touch of glamour and controversy.

On Friday, the day before his surgery, Neymar published on Instagram a photo in which he is seen giving his girlfriend Bruna Marquezine, an actress, a passionate kiss as she sits on him in a wheelchair. (AFP)

Neymar Out For Six Weeks, Will Miss Clash With Real Madrid

Paris Saint-Germain’s hopes of getting Neymar back for their crunch Champions League clash against Real Madrid ne week has been dashed after the Brazilian’s father said he would be out for “at least six weeks”.

Neymar Senior on Tuesday said: “PSG know that they will not be able to count on Neymar for the upcoming matches: his treatment will last six to eight weeks, whether there is an operation or not.”

That was after PSG coach Unai Emery claimed earlier that “no decision” had been taken on whether Neymar would be operated and that there remained a “small chance” of bringing back the world’s most expensive player as soon as possible to to face Real next Tuesday, March 6.

Tests confirmed that Neymar suffered a hairline fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot as well as a twisted ankle late in PSG’s 3-0 win over Marseille in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

He appeared to be in tears as he was stretchered off the field at the Parc des Princes, immediately raising fears that the 26-year-old could miss the Champions League last 16, second leg against Madrid.

PSG lost 3-1 in the first leg in Spain two weeks ago and are in danger of being knocked out of the competition in the last 16 for the second season running.

Brazilian newspaper Globo Esporte had claimed Neymar would undergo surgery, and that the former Barcelona player would be sidelined until May.

If his father’s estimate is correct, Neymar would not return before the semi-final stage of the Champions League in late April.

On the possibility of rushing Neymar back for the Real second leg, experts say that PSG would be taking a huge risk, possibly even jeopardising Neymar’s participation at the World Cup in Russia in June and July.


“It would be very risky as it’s a fragile bone in the foot which is difficult to protect,” Jean-Marcel Ferret, a former doctor with the French national team, told AFP.

“(Playing against Real) could compromise the rest of his season.”

In the meantime, PSG are preparing to do without Neymar for Wednesday’s French Cup quarter-final at home to Marseille, the second meeting of the clubs in four days.

Argentine star Angel di Maria should replace the Brazilian at the Parc des Princes, with PSG hoping to stay on course to win the French Cup for the fourth season running.

Neymar has scored 28 goals in 30 appearances in all competitions for PSG since his 222 million-euro ($264 million) move from Barcelona last August.

PSG Prepares Neymar For Madrid’s Challenge Despite Injury

Paris Saint-Germain are putting all their hands into work  to getting Neymar ready for their Champions League crunch clash with Real Madrid next week after he suffered an ankle injury against Marseille on Sunday.

The Brazilian superstar was stretchered off in anguish towards the end of PSG’s 3-0 victory over their great rivals at the Parc des Princes, having innocuously rolled his right ankle and flopped to the ground in pain.

With the game aleady over, the stadium held was all quiet as the former Barcelona superstar was stretched out of the pitch and then carried away, with PSG forced to finish the match with 10 men having made all of their substitutions.

Paris coach Unai Emery said after the game that early examinations in the dressing room showed Neymar had twisted the ankle.

Le Parisien newspaper reported that the 26-year-old underwent tests at a hospital just outside Paris in the early hours of Monday that ruled out a “fracture or a serious sprain”.

Speaking to French television after Sunday’s match, PSG captain Thiago Silva said: “I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think he’ll be available on Wednesday (when PSG face Marseille again in the French Cup). He has to rest.”

Le Parisien suggested that the world’s most expensive player will definitely miss Wednesday’s French Cup quarter-final at home against Marseille as well as next Saturday’s trip to Troyes in Ligue 1.

Neymar himself posted a picture on Instagram of his right leg with the ankle and foot heavily bandaged. “08:10. Finished for today,” said the caption.

The Champions League last 16, second leg against Real at the Parc des Princes in Paris on March 6 is just over a week away, leaving Neymar little time to recover fitness as PSG look to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg in Madrid.

Despite the injury potentially benefiting Madrid, the Spanish side’s coach Zinedine Zidane claimed he hoped Neymar would recover in time to play.

“I’m not happy with the Neymar injury and I hope he can be back for the game. I will never want a rival player to be out injured,” Zidane said at a press conference in the Spanish capital.

‘Nothing Is Impossible’, Says Neymar After PSG Lose To Real

Neymar insisted that Paris Saint-Germain can still qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals despite losing 3-1 to Real Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday.

He was in the Barcelona side that lost 4-0 away to PSG in the first leg of the last 16 last season, before a stunning 6-1 victory in the return.

On PSG’s chances of beating Real in the return leg on March 6, he said: “I think it is difficult, but nothing is impossible. Last year I was in a much worse situation and we managed to get through. I hope we will be able to play better.”


Carvajal: Real Madrid Cannot Tame Neymar Except He Is Off Form

Just few days to the Round of 16 Champions League clash, Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal said there was no “magic formula” to hold Neymar as he hopes the PSG star goes off form that day

Neymar is a huge threat to the Madrid team as PSG are preparing to visit the Santiago Bernabeu for the first leg clash.

Carvajal, who wouldn’t be featuring in the opening clash due to suspension, said his team simply needed to believe the Brazil international was below his best.

“To play against Neymar, there is no magic formula,” he said, via AS.

“You just hope he doesn’t have his day. I hope he doesn’t have his day on Wednesday.”

Having struggled in LaLiga this season, the Champions League is set to be Madrid’s last chance at another trophy this campaign.

Carvajal insisted there were no favourites for the tie against PSG, who are flying high in Ligue 1.

Ronaldo Wants Neymar Move To Real Madrid

Former Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo de Lima has also waded in on the rumours linking Neymar Jr, the world’s most expensive footballer to the club. He suggested the club should make the move for him because best players are needed to win laurels.

Neymar made a world-record €222million move to PSG last year from Barcelona, signing a deal with the Ligue 1 giants until 2022.

Despite that contract, the 26-year-old is rumored to be involved in shock switch to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ronaldo, who spent more than four seasons at Madrid, said his former club were always looking to sign the best, and that included Neymar.

“Neymar is a superb player, maybe he will be the best in the world in a few years, and Real Madrid need the best,” he said on Wednesday, via Marca.

Despite the speculation, Ronaldo played down how close a potential Madrid move was for Neymar.

The two-time World Cup winner believes Madrid, who are fourth in LaLiga and 19 points behind Barcelona, feels his former side could perhaps win a third straight Champions League despite their struggles this campaign.

“I haven’t heard any official representative of Real Madrid say anything about Neymar,” Ronaldo said.

“They should think about what they have and this year it’s difficult for Madrid, they have to keep going and end well.

“The Champions League is a competition that they do well in and we will see how it ends, because everything changes very quickly in football.”

Neymar Left To Be Independent Of Messi…Alves

Dani Alves has come out to say his club and country’s teammate left Barcelona to stand out of Messi’s dominance and to increase the chances of Brazil winning the World Cup.

Neymar became the world’s most expensive footballer in August when he completed a switch From Barcelona to PSG at a price of  222 million-euro ($276 million)

The 25-year-old finished third behind Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2017 Ballon d’Or.

“I think he’s (Neymar) up there with (Lionel) Messi as the most influential player in world football. The thing is, he had to come out of his shadow a little,” Alves told FIFA’s website.

“Playing with someone as unique as Leo is the most incredible thing that can happen to you, but there’s always that doubt in your mind if it’s you that really has the quality or if it’s him.

“It was important for Ney’s own development and for Brazil for him to follow his own path.”

PSG have opened an 11-point gap at the top of Ligue 1, with Neymar contributing 17 goals and 11 assists.

However, Alves believes Neymar’s main objective this season is to deliver PSG’s first Champions League title.

“It’s our main goal. It’s what Neymar was thinking when he left Barca and it’s what I was thinking when I left Juventus. That’s what moves us,” he added.

“We’re ready to compete and the question of whether that preparation leads us to victory or elimination is going to depend on how we work as a team.”

PSG resume their European campaign on Feb. 14 in the first leg of a mouth-watering last-16 tie against holders Real Madrid. ($1 = 0.8052 euros) (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

Neymar Replies PSG Fans On Penalty Controversy

Neymar played down the latest debate surrounding whether he or Edinson Cavani should be taking penalties for Paris Saint-Germain, after scoring a spot-kick against Montpellier on Saturday.

The world’s most expensive player was booed by the PSG home fans despite scoring four goals in an 8-0 thrashing of Dijon a fortnight ago, after taking a penalty that could have given Cavani the club’s all-time goalscoring record.

But after Cavani had broken Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s PSG record with the opener, the Brazilian was handed the ball by his strike partner to slot home a spot-kick for the first of his two goals in Saturday’s 4-0 win.

“The coach has chosen me to take the penalties,” Neymar told the Brazilian press.

“The coach decides that and I have to assume the responsibility. I know my responsibilities, I came here to take them on.”

Spanish media reported earlier this week that the 25-year-old is unsettled in Paris and set to move to Real Madrid at the end of the season.

When asked by reporters after the victory if he was happy at the Parc des Princes, a disgruntled Neymar said “yeah, why?” and walked out of the mixed zone.

Although Neymar and Cavani have had their differences — they had an infamous spat over who should take a penalty in September — there is no doubt that they are a force to be reckoned with when in form.

The Uruguayan set up Neymar to complete his double late on against Montpellier, although he may have been going for goal himself.

The pair have now scored 53 goals between them in all competitions this season, with Cavani one ahead of the former Barcelona forward.

Neymar was quick to praise his team-mate after Cavani’s 157th PSG strike took him past Ibrahimovic.

“Of course (I’m happy) for ‘Edi’ who has become the best scorer in the history of Paris,” he said.

“It’s good for him. We are all very glad that he did it.”

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who played a pivotal role in bringing Neymar to the French capital from Barca for 222 million euros ($264 million) in August, rubbished the Spanish media claims that his star attraction wants to leave.

“It’s a rumour and of course it’s not true,” insisted the Qatari.

“He’s happy here, he wants to stay here. He only came here five months ago and he still has four and a half years left on his contract.

“The Spaniards want to start a little (game), but we don’t want to get into this game. He won’t 100 percent be with us next season, but 2,000 percent.”

Neymar was brought to PSG with a first Champions League title in mind and coach Unai Emery will be desperate to have the Brazil captain fully fit for the last 16, first-leg tie at Real on February 14.

“He is a different player, he is spectacular,” the Spaniard said.

Neymar Scores Four, Cavani Equals Zlatan Record As PSG Destroy Dijon

Brazilian superstar Neymar scored four goals as Paris Saint-Germain thrashed Dijon 8-0 in the French Ligue 1 on Wednesday night.

Argentina forward Angel Di Maria bagged a brace while Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani each scored a goal.

Cavani’s goal against Dijon means he has now equalled Zlatan Ibrahimovic as PSG’s all-time leading scorer in all competitions on 156 goals.

PSG have now won eight straight games in all competitions.

Di Maria opened scoring for PSG in the fourth minute and scored again in the 15th minute to make it 2-0.

Cavani got on the score sheet in the 21st minute to bring score to 3-0.

Neymar netted a hat-trick, scoring PSG’s fourth, fifth and sixth goals on 42nd, 57th and 73rd minutes respectively.

Mbappe got amongst the goals when he struck in the 77th minute to give PSG a 7-0 lead before Neymar completed the rout by netting his fourth goal to end the game 8-0.

PSG maintain their leadership in the league table as they take their points tally to 56, 11 points ahead of second place Lyon.