Neymar Back A Bang As Brazil Outclass Nigeria’s World Cup Foes Croatia

GETTYWorld Cup 2018 Neymar will be hoping to fire Brazil to glory this summer

04 June, 2018

Neymar had been sidelined since February 25, when he fractured a metatarsal and sprained his ankle in a Ligue 1 match against Marseille.

Neymar marked his return from injury with the first goal in Brazil's win over Croatia at Anfield.

Philippe Coutinho returned to Anfield for the first time since leaving Liverpool for Barcelona in January as Brazil warmed up for the World Cup with a game against Croatia and he received a mixed reaction.

However, Tite urged caution over Neymar's return, and would not say if he had decided whether the 26-year-old will feature in Brazil's final pre-World Cup friendly against Austria in Vienna next Sunday.

Brazil head to Russian Federation as one of the favourites but this was a largely flat display, despite Tite choosing to start Gabriel Jesus, Willian and Philippe Coutinho, making his first appearance at the stadium since leaving Liverpool for Barcelona in January.

The Paris Saint-Germain star, who entered the fray at half-time, provided a moment of star quality after 69 minutes before Roberto Firmino, on his home ground, lobbed home a stoppage-time second.

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Tite said Neymar must be "a protagonist" for his country but added that the others players must also step up.

Croatia are Nigeria's first World Cup opponent in Russian Federation.

"He came back better than I expected".

"He will have to go through stages - he is going to have his ups and downs but by the third, fourth or fifth game he will be back to his level".

Croatia's Andrej Kramaric and Ivan Perisic were both cautioned by English referee Michael Oliver in the first half, along with Brazilian Fernandinho whose high-footed challenge left Vrsaljko needing a large bandage to a head wound.

Kenny Dalglish yesterday encouraged fans not to boo their ex-hero, who played more than 200 games for the Reds.

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