TERESOPOLIS: Neymar has returned to Brazil for the World Cup finals fitter and stromger than ever according to medical team preparing the Selecao for the pressure of chasing a sixth triumph – and as hosts.
The South American Footballer of the Year missed the end of his first European season with Spanish club Barcelona through an ankle injury but is now apparently fully recovered.
Brazilian team doctor Jose Luiz Runco said Neymar has gained 3kg more muscle mass one year after leading Brazil to victory in the Confederations Cup and now weighed 67kg.
Physical trainer Paolo Paixao said: “This ‘new’ Neymar is giving us a lot of confidence. He has gained not only physically but in experience by playing at Barcelona. Now he is up to par with all the other European players who can withstand a more robust type of marking and this gives us a lot of confidence abou what he can achieve in the World Cup.”
Runco said that Neymar had also been helped by surgery to remove his tonsils immediately after the Confederations Cup because this had been “a source of infection.”