MX23RW : Sunday, January 20 09:44:09
Jun 3, 2018 at 3pm UK
Brazil
2-0
Croatia
Neymar (69'), Firmino (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Tite delighted with Neymar return

Tite delighted with Neymar return
© Reuters
Brazil head coach Tite admits that Neymar surpassed his expectations during his long-awaited return from injury, but urges caution over expecting too much too soon.

Brazil head coach Tite has admitted that Neymar surpassed his expectations on his return from injury during an international friendly with Croatia this afternoon.

Neymar came off the bench at half time following an uninspired display from Brazil in the opening 45 minutes, and went on to break the deadlock with a dazzling run and finish 21 minutes from time.

However, Tite warned that he will not allow Neymar to dictate whether he is fit enough to feature in Brazil's final warm-up game with Austria next Sunday, having only just returned from more than three months on the sidelines with a fractured metatarsal.

"He came back above normal, far above my expectations. I expected much less of him because it is a gradual process," Tite told reporters at his post-match press conference.

"He will have to go through stages - he is going to have his ups and downs but by the third, fourth or fifth game he will be back to his level. He is a different player but he cannot be given the responsibility to decide [on his fitness] - that would be inhumane.

"He is a key part - but not everything. To reach the goal requires the medical department, physiology and so much work. It is unfair to put that [pressure] on one person - the sense of the team is stronger."

Neymar's goal was his 54th for Brazil in just 84 appearances, leaving him only one behind Romario in the all-time list.


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Brazil coach Tite gestures on the touchline during an international friendly with Croatia at Anfield on June 3, 2018
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