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Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has said he is confident he will return to full fitness in time for this summer’s FIFA World Cup.
The Brazil international has been out of action since February for his club after breaking his metatarsal in a clash with Marseille. As a result, he appears poised to miss the rest of the domestic season.
But speaking at a promotional event in China (h/t Matthew Smith of the MailOnline), the Selecao star appeared optimistic about making a return prior to the showpiece in Russia.
“There isn’t an exact date yet,” he said. “I have the last exam, if I’m not mistaken, on May 17. Then I’ll see, it depends on how things develop, it depends on my next exams. It has not been decided. I hope I won’t watch the World Cup on TV! I will have enough time to prepare. It’s evolving well. I will arrive better than I was before.”
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Brazil’s first match of the competition will be against Switzerland on June 17. They’ll also meet Costa Rica on June 22 and Serbia on June 27.
The world’s most expensive footballer posted the following on social media after appearing at the event. In the photo it’s clear his foot is still heavily strapped:
Neymar Jr @neymarjr
It was a great honor to be present in the TCL & NEYMAR JR Global Press Conference. Thx for the gift from China and let’s meet the challenge head-on this summer @TclCorporation @TCL_TV_Global @TCLaircon #TCL #TCLTV #TCLMultimedia #WitnessLegendsInBrazil #BornALegend https://t.co/bt7mEDRh8Z
The schedule of recuperation provided by Neymar isn’t great news for PSG supporters, as it makes it unlikely he will play again this domestic season. Their final Ligue 1 match of the campaign is on May 19 against Caen.
Neymar made the switch from Barcelona to PSG in the summer and in the main he’s been excellent for the French outfit. In total, he netted 28 goals prior to his injury, helping the team secure a dominant position at the summit of their domestic league.
As relayed by The Sportsman, Neymar has typically shone when donning the colours of his national team too:
The Sportsman @TheSportsman
🇧🇷 Neymar’s record for Brazil… – Games: 83 – Goals: 53 (✍️ @TomSandersonSP) #SeleçãoBrasileira https://t.co/qMAmlvRqYk
Although the 25-year-old tends to light up a match when on the field, things haven’t gone completely to plan for the Brazilian this season at PSG.
Former France international and World Cup winner Christophe Dugarry slammed Neymar on RMC Sport for not being in Paris when his team clinched the title on Sunday following a 7-1 win over former champions Monaco:
The World Cup will be another opportunity for Neymar to showcase his talents, and he’ll hope injury doesn’t hinder his ability to help Brazil for the second successive competition.
In 2014, the forward was in sensational form as Brazil hosted the competition, helping the team progress into the quarter-finals. However, he picked up a back injury in the win against Colombia and missed the rest of the tournament; the Selecao went on to be humiliated 7-1 in the semi-finals by Germany.