SOCHI Russia (Xinhua) --
Superstar Neymar was back in training for Brazil
on Wednesday after tweaking his ankle the day before, allaying
fears he could miss their second World Cup Group E clash with
Costa Rica on Friday.
In a video posted on
the Brazilian soccer federation’s Twitter page, Neymar is shown
taking a full part in a training match and showing no
ill-effects of the foot injury.
The video was
accompanied by the caption: “Neymar’s working in the training
session in Sochi on Wednesday! Preparation continues for the
second round of the World Cup.”
The Brazil star
missed Monday’s training, the day after he was fouled 10 times
during a 1-1 Group E draw with Switzerland.
Although the Paris
Saint-Germain forward emerged for Tuesday’s workout, he only
lasted a few minutes before seemingly injuring his ankle.
After taking on
Costa Rica, Brazil will complete Group E actions by facing
Neymar’s ‘individual play’
By sportswriter Michael Place MOSCOW
Russia (Xinhua) -- Former France
captain and World Cup winner Marcel Desailly has accused Brazil
star Neymar of playing for himself to the detriment of his team.
Neymar failed to
impress in Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland in their World Cup
opener on Sunday, having seemingly been targeted for rough
treatment by the European team. The 10 fouls he suffered was the
most for any player in a World Cup match since Alan Shearer in
“We saw Brazil were
in difficulty in their draw against Switzerland,” said Desailly
in an article for the Guardian. “They have this great capacity
for dribbling, of course, it’s in their blood, but there was too
much individual play and not enough for the team.”
Desailly, who played
in Les Bleus’ 3-0 victory over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup
final, said Neymar was responsible for stalling Brazil’s
movement against the Swiss, making them predictable and easy to
“Neymar gave off the
impression he was playing by himself,” the former center-back
and defensive midfielder added. “Whenever the ball came to him
he slowed the game down, irrespective of whether it was the
right thing to do or not. Because he knows he has the talent to
change games, you get the impression Neymar wants to be the one
to do that something special.
“But he has to
understand that it’s not like that at international level. He
might be the greatest player but you have to think of the
collective. You have to think of your teammates and play with
them, using one-twos and triangles to move forward and make
those differences. The one time he did that, down the left with
Marcelo and Coutinho, brought about Brazil’s goal. But that was
Herve Renard ‘proud’ of hard working team
By sportswriter Michael Place MOSCOW
Russia (Xinhua) -- Morocco coach Herve
Renard heaped praise on his players after the team’s 1-0 defeat
to Portugal here on Wednesday, a result that all but guarantees
the African side’s World Cup elimination.
champions went ahead through an early Cristiano Ronaldo header
but Morocco dominated large periods of the match and had 16
shots on goal compared to Portugal’s 10.
disappointed. I’m very happy with the performance,” Renard told
a news conference after the match. “I’m very proud, we all are.
It might sound strange but that is the feeling in the group.”
came after an Aziz Bouhaddouz own goal gifted Iran a 1-0 victory
over Morocco in the teams’ opening group match.
A victory for Spain
against Iran later on Wednesday would eliminate Morocco from the
tournament, regardless of the result of the Africans’ clash with
Spain on Monday.
that Ronaldo’s goal should have been disallowed because of a
perceived foul by Portugal defender Pepe moments earlier.
“Have a look at the
corner-kick when Ronaldo scored and look at what No. 3 [Pepe]
did,” Renard said. “Do your own analysis and write the truth.
“A foul should have
been seen. A corner kick should have been awarded. If I
criticize referees I will be criticized or sanctioned. So the
only thing that you should write is that we are very proud of
the performance. We will finish with Spain and we hope to do
that with flying colors.
The Frenchman said
the team had come a long way since he replaced Badou Zaki as
national coach in February 2016.
“The one thing I’m
sure of is that Moroccan people are very proud of their team,”
he said. “Two years ago we started a new adventure. We were
ranked 81st in the world and I think that now we are
41st. We qualified for a World Cup for the first time
in more than 20 years. We showed that we can play football but
it’s true that we haven’t been effective in the end [here].”
Renard bemoaned his
team’s inability to convert chances into goals, both against
Iran and Portugal.
“It’s a lot easier
when you have a goalscorer,” he said. “But we have high quality
players. We should have been more effective. Just like in the
first game we had lots of scoring opportunities. That’s what
happens in football. Those who know how to play in the penalty
area and those who are most gifted make a difference.
“We didn’t score the
goals we could have. But playing in this stadium. It felt like
we were playing in Casablanca. Some people drove all the way to
Moscow and I’m sure they are proud of the team.”