Neymar's return from injury 'better than I expected' - Brazil boss Tite

FIFA World Cup Friendly Neymar Fitness In The Spotlight As Brazil Face Croatia

A broken metatarsal spelled the end of the striker's season at Paris Saint-Germain, after impressing with a glut of goals in Ligue 1 following his world-record switch from Barcelona. "I suffered, these were very tough three months", Neymar said.

After his goal, Neymar made sure to head to the Brazil bench to embrace team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, who operated on his foot fracture three months ago. Firmino then doubled Brazil's lead just before the final whistle in Liverpool.

The 26-year-old had surgery in Brazil amid fears he wouldn't be fit for the World Cup.

Willian, impressive throughout for Brazil, picked the ball up in midfield and threaded the ball to Neymar in the inside-left channel.

"Last match I told you that [Roberto] might have come in, there's competition among them and Gabriel is performing terrifically, but Firmino is putting pressure on him too", Tite added.

The forward's ability to create chances for himself and open up defences adds some unpredictability to the Brazil attack and after a goalless first half on Sunday they looked more unsafe with the former Barcelona man on the field. By the third, fourth or fifth game then he will be back to his level.

"I've watched him play against Roma, he has tons of virtues and qualities, he might come on at any given moment".

Roberto Firmino: "I'm very happy to play and score at home [Anfield], helping the team earn the victory".

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"When I saw the ball hit the net I only thought of those that helped me, Dr Lasmar, my family, friends". "I respect Tite's opinion [in starting with Jesus] 100 per cent", Firmino said.

The striker also thanked local fans for their support, saying "it is good to play at home".

Until Neymar stepped onto the pitch it was Croatia who had the best opportunities in a match that seemed headed for a tiresome draw.

Defender Dejan Lovren had the best chance to open with a header that grazed Brazil goalkeeper Alisson's right post after a corner.

Croatia are set to retain their tag as perennial dark horses heading into the World Cup after proving to be formidable opponents for one of the tournament's standout favourites.

Monday will be a rest day for the team and Brazilian media claimed midfielder Fred will be travelling to Manchester for medical tests before signing a deal with Manchester United.

Firmino struck in the dying seconds to cap a successful outing for Brazil, who face just one more friendly with Austria next Sunday before their World Cup opener against Switzerland on June 17.

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