Exciting Brazilian attacker Neymar believes he will be 100% fit in time for the host nation’s quarter-final clash with fellow South American side Colombia at the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Saturday morning AEST.
Contesting a particularly physical and heated affair with in-form qualifiers Chile in the World Cup Round of 16, Neymar had to leave the pitch twice after taking heavy knocks to both his knee and thigh, but continued to battle on before scoring the clinching penalty in Brazil’s victory.
Exhibiting a heavily-strapped knee at a Brazilian training session on Wednesday, Neymar said he is not in any pain and will be fine to take to the pitch on Saturday morning (Australia time).
“I am able to play against Colombia, I have no pain,” Neymar told local media.
A linchpin in his nation’s success in reaching the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals, Neymar said he does not feel burdened by the pressure of his home crowd, nor expectations of playing such a pivotal role.
“I do not feel burdened with the obligation to be the highlight,” Neymar said.
“I have colleagues who help me. Some win the ball, others give passes, others score goal. We are a team; it’s not about one player.
“Here the important thing is that Brazil are champions.”
Brazilian spokesman Rodrigo Paiva said manager Luis Felipe Scolari will leave the decision on whether or not to play Neymar against Colombia until his fitness if proven, however the signs are looking good.
“The worst is the knee – it’s what’s hurting the most,” Paiva told the press.
“He will be evaluated again, but team doctor Jose Luiz Runco said fans don’t have to worry because he’s not a concern for the match.”
Overcoming an early deficit to beat Croatia 3-1 in the 2014 World Cup’s opening match, Brazil were held to a shock 0-0 draw with Mexico in their second-up match on June 18th, but ensured progression atop Group A when comfortably defeating African qualifiers Cameroon 4-1.
Having scraped past Chile in a penalty shoot-out, Brazil is currently offered as clear $1.36 favourites to beat Colombia ($3) at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza on Saturday morning with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
Open an account and deposit at Ladbrokes.com.au today to claim a bonus bet of up to $250 in time for Brazil vs Colombia.