Thursday, 16 August, 2018


Neymar dances into hotel as Brazil arrive in Russian Federation

Noah Ferguson | 12 June, 2018, 19:12

Second place, however, is up for grabs with Serbia looking the most likely, especially given they may benefit from the fact they are likely to face a Brazil team already through after the first two rounds of matches.

Messi, who will turn 31 during the World Cup, believes Spain, Brazil, Germany, France and Belgium are the leading contenders for the title.

The 2010 side, under Dunga, was packed with midfield spoilers and looked to catch opponents on the counter-attack, or from set pieces. Nearly two years later, "The Monster" has recovered both form and confidence and edged out his club teammate to form a partnership with Miranda, perhaps the quietest man to ever wear the captain's armband not only for Brazil.

The 26-year-old's World Cup hopes were shrouded in uncertainty and the images which followed were those of pain and concern as he was carried off on a stretcher. The Brazilian figure dropped from 72 per cent in 2013, the year before the country hosted the World Cup. Thus, it was a joy for fans to see their team can breach crowded, bunkered-in defences.

Jesus got the ball rolling with Brazil's opening goal.

Brazil have not lost since June 2017, a run of 10 games, and have kept 16 clean sheets in 21 games since Tite took over in June 2016.

Yet, the 57-year-old coach remains little-known outside his own country where he has spent almost entire career, coaching more than 10 teams, and including three stints at Corinthians where he made his name.

Gabriel Jesus, Neymar and Philippe Coutinho scored as Brazil swept aside Austria 3-0 in their final World Cup warm-up game in Vienna.

The foursome, starting together for the first time, worked superbly in hard conditions on Sunday to break down an Austria side which had beaten Germany only one week earlier.

The Paris St Germain forward scored his 55th worldwide goal to go level with Romario and sit joint-third in Brazil's all-time scoring charts during their impressive victory.

Back in February, the Neymar lay crumpled in a heap on the floor during a game against Marseille after he sustained a fractured metatarsal.

He also seemed to revel in no longer having to carry the team on his shoulders.

Speaking to reporters, Neymar said: "For me it is a great honour, great happiness to reach Romario, to be among the top scorers of the Brazilian team". "His technical and creative capacity is impressive".

The first scare came in the third minute following a late tackle from behind by midfielder Alessandro Schoepf.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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