• News

Neymar behind only Messi & Ronaldo, says Brazil boss Tite

Neymar, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo
Getty Images

Tite has assured Brazil fans that he is “ready” to unleash one of the world’s top-three players in Neymar for their friendly against Colombia.

Neymar has spent the summer working on recovering from the ankle injury that ruled him out of the Copa America. Therefore, he had to sit on the sidelines as Brazil claimed glory on home soil without their star forward.

But the 27-year-old, who hasn’t played a single minute of football since June 6, will finally return for Brazil. Head coach Tite has passed him fit for Saturday morning’s friendly against Colombia in Miami

So, Neymar can finally start putting the drama over his Paris Saint-Germain future behind him and start concentrating on his football instead.

“He [Neymar] has recovered from the injury that as everyone remembers removed him from the Copa America,” Tite announced during a pre-match conference on Thursday.

“If he wasn’t fit, he wouldn’t be with the national team. We are not irresponsible to force a situation when it concerns the athlete’s health.

“I and the coaching staff will be very attentive to his development. He is ready, he is capable of doing what the team needs.”

The Brazil coach, meanwhile, talked up Neymar’s abilities as a footballer and rates him above even Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard.

“From individual technical quality, I put Lionel Messi on top and Cristiano Ronaldo, because they are of another generation,” said Tite.

“From there I put another generation: [Neymar] and Eden Hazard are two extraordinary players for me. One advantage Neymar has over Hazard is that they think alike but he executes faster. He’s unstoppable.”

Neymar has managed an impressive 60 goals and 40 assists in just 97 appearances for Brazil at international level.

The former Barcelona star could partner with Vinicius Junior, who’s also returned from an ankle injury, for the first time on Saturday morning.

The Brazil and Colombia friendly will start at 02:30 (CET).

BRASILIA, BRAZIL – JUNE 05: Neymar Jr. of Brazil.