After recovering from an ankle injury, Neymar is set to play for Brazil in their World Cup last-16 match against South Korea on Monday at Stadium 974, according to coach Tite.
Neymar sustained the injury in Brazil’s 2-0 win over Serbia, ruling him out of the team’s next two group-stage games against Switzerland and Cameroon.
Full-back The medical staff also approved Danilo for the game against South Korea. “If Neymar looks bright in training and trains well, he’ll play,” Tite said at a press conference on Sunday.
Tite’s counterpart, Paulo Bento, did not mince words when he stated that the South Koreans would be delighted if Neymar was not in Brazil’s starting lineup on Monday.
“We’d be hypocritical if we stated we’d rather play alongside Neymar.” “That’s not true,” Bento added. “We’d rather he not be on the field of play.”
Neymar has had numerous problems with his right foot, including surgery four years ago for a fractured metatarsal. Thiago Silva was asked if Neymar would play during the press conference before Tite took over the microphone and said “sure.”
It will be welcomed in a squad that has been plagued by fitness issues, with Alex Sandro suffering a hip injury against the Swiss. Alex Telles and forward Gabriel Jesus, both of whom suffered knee injuries against Cameroon, were ruled out of the tournament on Saturday.
While Sandro was sidelined, Tite indicated Danilo was fit to play against South Korea on Monday. “He (Sandro) is still unable to play. He is still recuperating. “Danielo and Neymar are back,” stated Brazil’s coach.
Tite emphasised that Neymar’s return had the full support of the team’s medical staff, despite the fact that the player’s physical condition was the primary priority.
“If he plays, it’s because he’s healthy and ready to go.” “We believe he will be able to play from the start and throughout the game,” Tite stated.
“My inclination is usually to start with my best players.”
Tite claimed there will be no alterations to the attacking line that started against Serbia, with Lucas Paqueta behind Neymar, Vinicius Jr, Raphinha, and Richarlison.
With Sandro and Telles out, the biggest unknown is who will play left back. Marquinhos replaced the injured Sevilla defender against Cameroon, but Tite also has right-back Danilo and midfielder Everton Ribeiro at his disposal.
Bento, who was dissatisfied with the World Cup scheduling, aired his displeasure. South Korea defeated Portugal 2-1 on Friday to move to the round of 16, but will face Brazil after only two days off. “I don’t think it’s fair to play games after only 72 hours,” Bento stated.
In Monday’s match, South Korea will once again rely on talisman Son Heung-min to lead from the front.