Neymar Gives Philippe Coutinho The Treatment As The Latter Turns 26


Brazil are well stocked with powerful and industrious midfielders but, given his performances in qualifying, Paulinho is likely to start the tournament, while club colleague Coutinho is likely to operate from a more central position.

Brazil fired their dreams of World Cup glory with a 3-0 win over Austria, according to Neymar - who had his fears of an injury relapse tested to the full.

"Austria had quality and we knew it would not be easy".

Brazil is five days away from its opening World Cup match against Switzerland, but there doesn't appear to be any pre-tournament nerves at training. The PSG talisman was at his brilliant best as he toyed around with defenders before scoring the second goal for Brazil after Gabriel Jesus scored the opener. We managed to play, involve their team and make another big game. Brazil is in red-hot form after their wins over Germany and Croatia.

Lindner was a spectator as Coutinho sent one of his speciality strikes thumping against the bar, while his underworked opposite number Alisson tipped behind from substitute Stefan Hierlander in the 81st minute - preserving a fifth consecutive global clean sheet before Neymar departed late on to a warm ovation. "We played another game and we proved to ourselves that we are ready for the World Cup".

"The game was important to us".

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"We've just lost three finals in a row, which has led to us going through some hard moments with the press", the Barcelona forward said.

"That gives you confidence".

Argentina lost the 2014 World Cup final 1-0 to Germany after extra time, before suffering successive defeats by Chile on penalties at the Copa America in 2015 and 2016.

Neymar is now level with Romario and only behind Ronaldo (62) and Pele (77) in Brazil's all-time record scoring charts.

He joked about Austria's rough approach.