Friday 20 April 2018, 14:47

Neymar: I'll arrive at World Cup in good shape

  • ​Neymar has backed De Bruyne, Hazard, Salah and Suarez to star

  • The 26-year-old believes Brazil are the best team at Russia 2018

  • He outlined the one advantage of being injured

Neymar has backed Mo Salah, Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Luis Suarez to dazzle at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and opined that Brazil are the team to beat.

Asked which players, excluding The Best FIFA Men's Player finalists – himself, Lionel Messi and winner Cristiano Ronaldo – would shine at the 21st edition of the tournament, the 26-year-old responded: “There are lots of quality players. It’s the World Cup we’re talking about – only the best [players] in the whole world. But Coutinho and Jesus are players that, for me, can have a big impact. I hope they do.

“Salah’s not in a high-profile national team, but I think he can have a good World Cup. And there are other top-class players: Hazard, De Bruyne, Suarez. I hope that all these players shine and that it’s a wonderful World Cup, but that they don’t do anything against Brazil (laughs).

“I’m very satisfied to be part of a team that, in my view, is the strongest. We have the quality to win it.”

Neymar has been out since February following surgery on a metatarsal fracture, but has accentuated the positive from that setback.

“I will have enough time to arrive at the World Cup in good shape and prepare,” said the Paris Saint-Germain attacker, who is fourth on Brazil’s list of all-time leading marksmen (53 goals) behind Romario (55), Ronaldo (62) and Pele (77). “Being injured isn’t good, but I feel rested. We have to look at the positives.”

Brazil face Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E.

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