Brazil boss Tite has declared that Neymar remains ahead of Real Madrid signing Eden Hazard.
Injured Canarinho superstar Neymar has long been linked to a return to La Liga with Los Blancos. This route, however, appears closed off after they snatched up the Belgium forward.
Tite held a news conference at Estadio Beira Rio in Porto Alegre ahead of friendly match against Honduras. See his reaction above:
Neymar is enduring a tough year after being ruled out of the Copa America with an ankle ligament injury.
The Brazilian went down in the first half of his side’s 2-0 friendly win over Qatar on Wednesday.
“After suffering a sprain in his right ankle during last Wednesday’s game against Qatar, Neymar was evaluated and subjected to complementary imaging tests that confirmed ligament rupture in the ankle,” a statement on www.cbf.com read.
“Due to the seriousness of the injury, Neymar will not have the physical conditions and sufficient recovery time to participate in the Copa America Brasil 2019.”
With another in a long line of injuries over the past 12 months coupled by controversy off the pitch, Neymar is having a difficult time at the moment.
However, he still managed to score 16 goals in just 17 Ligue 1 games for Paris Saint-Germain this season and you can watch every one of them in the video below.
Former Barcelona star Rivaldo believes the club need to bring Neymar back in order to challenge for the Champions League after a second straight season in which La Blaugrana crashed out of the competition in embarrassing fashion.
In both of the two seasons since Neymar left for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222million transfer, Barcelona have blown a three-goal lead in the second leg of a knockout tie to exit Europe’s premier club competition.
Last season, Barcelona won the first leg of their quarter-final against Roma 4-1 at home, only to lose 3-0 away to bow out on away goals. And if that was humiliating, the manner in which they went out this season was even worse. Having beaten Liverpool 3-0 at home in the semi-final, they lost 4-0 in the away leg, conceding three second-half goals at Anfield.
The over-dependency on Lionel Messi has been cited as one key reason for Barcelona’s failures, a problem that has been brought into greater focus since the departure of Neymar, who was the star of one of the most famous results in Barca history, when they beat PSG 6-1 in the second leg of the 2016/17 Round of 16 to overturn a 4-0 deficit, and won the Champions League with the club in 2014/15.
That remains the last time they won the competition, and as success at home has become easier to come by – Barcelona have won La Liga in eight of the last 11 seasons – European glory has become a greater priority.
Rivaldo, who played for Barcelona from 1997 to 2002 but won the only Champions League title of his career in the season after he left the club, helping AC Milan to the trophy in 2002/03, says bringing back his fellow Brazilian would get the Catalan club out of their European rut.
Neymar “would be a great recruitment” for Barca “for everything that happened in this season’s finale,” the 2002 World Cup winner said on Instagram.
“He is, in my humble opinion, the player who Barcelona lack to be champions again in the Champions League. He has personality and a lot of quality to win back all the fans of Barcelona and also to be the best in the world.”