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Neymar fit for Brazil after World Cup injury fears


Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Neymar will play in Brazil’s vital World Cup match against Costa Rica on Friday despite injury fears, coach Tite has confirmed.

The world’s most expensive player was given a rough ride by the Swiss in a 1-1 draw on Sunday, suffering 10 fouls during the match, the most for any player in a single World Cup game for 20 years.

Neymar then set alarm bells ringing when he hobbled out of training on Tuesday.

However, he returned to training on Wednesday and Tite insisted he is not running a risk by throwing Neymar straight back into the action.

“It’s the same team that is going to start that stated against Switzerland,” said Tite.

“We want to win, it’s a World Cup, but the coach is not going to play with the players’ health. It’s too big a risk.”

Even before his latest injury scare, there were doubts over Neymar’s match fitness after a broken bone in his foot ended his club season with Paris Saint-Germain in February.

Neymar returned and scored in World Cup warm-up friendly wins against Croatia and Austria but Tite admitted it could take up to five games for his star forward to be back to his best.

“He had a knock, but I think it was the first time in three-and-a-half months he played 90 minutes,” said Tite.

“We are calm. Five matches is the minimum you need to be fully fit and he has already sped up the process.”

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