Neymar to return from injury against Croatia

Joann Johnston
June 4, 2018

Neymar came on at Anfield as a second-half substitute and made a swift impression with a superbly taken goal in the 69th minute as the five-times world champions warmed-up for this month's tournament in Russian Federation.

He needed just 23 minutes to prove how important he is, not only to Brazil's hope of a sixth world title but also for the millions of fans who will watch the World Cup hoping the planet's most expensive player can take a leading role.

But after the break, the Croatians began to defend deeper and allowed Brazil the space to begin to express themselves - a situation Neymar exploited to the full.

And when Neymar gave Brazil the lead midway through the second-half, Croatia's attacking players did not have the game-changing quality they required to get back into the game. I expected much less of him because it is a gradual process.

Coutinho, who completed a £142m move to Barcelona in January, will line-up for Brazil in a World Cup warm-up friendly against Croatia.

After his comeback on Sunday, Brazil's national team captured a video of Neymar exchanging shirts with Modric outside the dressing rooms at Anfield.

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Liverpool's Roberto Firmino wrapped the game up with a 93rd minute goal.

"Neymar is going to have ups and downs like he had in training until the third, fourth game (on his return)".

Brazil "improved in the second half after Neymar made the difference".

Facing a race to be fit for Brazil's World Cup opener against Switzerland on June 17, Neymar will get a chance to use Sunday's clash at Anfield to show he is ready to lead the five-time world champions in Russian Federation.

Neymar scored the opening goal in the Selecao's 2-0 triumph, and he signed a personalised dedication to the Real Madrid midfielder on the shirt before handing it to him.

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