Injury won’t keep Neymar from World Cup

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iol spt apr19 Neymar-Brazil Reuters Brazilian football star Neymar said he would be well enough to play in the World Cup in June despite a foot injury that could force him to miss the rest of the club season. Photo by: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Rio De Janeiro – Brazilian football star Neymar said he would be well enough to play in the World Cup in June despite a foot injury that could force him to miss the rest of the club season.

The 22-year-old Barcelona player injured his left foot Wednesday during a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in Spain's Copa del Rey final.

FC Barcelona said Thursday he would be benched for four weeks and could miss the rest of the club season.

With less than two months to go, Neymar however promised to be healthy on time to play in the World Cup.

“I always had a bit of fear” that the injury would force me to “stay out ... of the World Cup,” Neymar told Globo TV.

“But within the next three weeks I'll be back and I hope to play Barcelona's last game,” he said.

Brazil coach Felipe Scolari plans for Neymar to lead his country's hopes for a sixth World Cup title on home soil in June.

In the meantime Neymar will stay in shape by exercising with weights and in the pool, the medical department of Brazil's national team said after talking with Barcelona.

“It's horrible to be out, without training, without playing, and to see your comrades playing and training,” he told Globo.

Neymar will be the second-youngest player to wear the number ten shirt for the Selecao at a World Cup.

Pele famously made the shirt his own as a 17-year-old at the 1958 finals and again in 1962 before another crown in 1970.

In an April 4 interview with Lance sports daily, Neymar said that “no match will be easy” in the World Cup as Brazil, who lost the final to Uruguay when they last staged the tournament at home back in 1950, take on the Croatians, Mexico and Cameroon in their pool. – Sapa-AFP


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