NEYMAR Scores Twice In One Week For Brazil As Ronaldo Trains In Russia
WHILE football fans the world over eagerly wait for the World Cup Football opener on Thursday in Moscow between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia, Neymar found the net for the second time in a week in a morale-boosting 3-0 win against Austria.
Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho netted either side of Neymar’s strike in Vienna as the world’s most expensive player confirmed his return to fitness following a foot operation three months ago.
The Brazilians are due to arrive in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi in the early hours of Monday ahead of their opening game against Switzerland on June 17.
Neymar’s goal was his 55th in a Brazil shirt, allowing him to draw level with Romario on his country’s list of all-time leading scorers — only Pele and Ronaldo have scored more goals for Brazil than the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.
The 26-year-old had come off the bench to score in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Croatia in Liverpool, his first match since breaking a bone in his foot playing for PSG in February.
Sunday’s goal was a superb effort, the former Barcelona man controlling Willian’s chipped pass on his thigh just inside the box and then leaving Austrian defender Aleksandar Dragovic on the floor with some delightful footwork before rolling the ball home.
Brazil coach Tite said he felt “extremely proud” of his team, although he said they could be more clinical.
“I don’t know Neymar’s limits,” he said. “His technical and creative capacity is impressive. When we get him in the last third of the field he is lethal.”
Drawn in Group E, Brazil, who are second behind defending world champions Germany in the FIFA rankings, will face Costa Rica and Serbia after Switzerland.
Meanwhile Ronaldo’s Portugal held their first World Cup training session at the team’s base in Kratovo, southeast of Moscow, five days ahead of their heavyweight opening clash against Spain.