Neymar Fitness a Big Boost for Him and for Barcelona

Rik Sharma@@riksharma_Featured ColumnistAugust 1, 2014

Neymar is currently recovering from injury.
Neymar is currently recovering from injury.Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

Barcelona have been boosted by the news that Neymar will be fit to start the season. The Brazilian claims that he will play in a pre-season friendly the week before La Liga kicks off, as per Sam Marsden of Sport.

Neymar said: "Little by little I am recovering from the injury. I want to have a really good season and I am hopeful I can help my team get some good results. Against Leon I will play."

The Brazilian is currently in Japan conducting promotional duties, while he recuperated from the injury which caused such outrage during the World Cup.

During Brazil's quarter-final clash with Colombia, the striker was hit in the back by Juan Camilo Zuniga.

Neymar was injured during the World Cup.
Neymar was injured during the World Cup.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

It ruled him out of the competition and appeared to have ruined the start of the season for him, too.

Per Sport, Neymar said that if Zuniga's knee had hit him any higher, he could have been paralysed.

God blessed me. If it had been another two centimetres I could be in a wheelchair today. I don't hate him [Zuniga]. I don't hold a grudge. But I don't feel anything. It's difficult to talk about a move that ended happening in such an important moment of my career. I won't say he came to injure me. I don't what was going on in his head but everyone who understands football can see that it wasn't a normal challenge.

But despite all the doom and the gloom that surrounded Brazil and Neymar at the time, now he seems like he will be ready for the start of the season. That is very important both for him and for Barcelona.

His first year in Spain was by no means a failure, but it was also far from the success he might have hoped for.

While Gareth Bale shone for Real Madrid, helping them lift the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, Neymar spent a lot of time on the sideline.

Gareth Bale enjoyed a better season than Neymar.
Gareth Bale enjoyed a better season than Neymar.Nhat V. Meyer/Associated Press

The Brazilian was injured over Christmas and also toward the end of the season with a metatarsal problem.

It meant he could only show his talent in fits and starts.

One brilliant hat-trick against Celtic in the Champions League showed that he has plenty to offer Barcelona, but because he was in and out of the side, he could not build on it.

He was at his finest just before the winter break, but he contracted gastroenteritis.

Missing most of the pre-season is not helpful either, but if Neymar starts the season, he will be able to build rapidly from there and get into the rhythm of things.

Adding Luis Suarez into the side in late October will be enough of a disruption, let alone having to tinker with the left-hand side of the attack, too.

With Alexis Sanchez gone, Neymar has more responsibility.
With Alexis Sanchez gone, Neymar has more responsibility.Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Barcelona also need someone with great quality to support Lionel Messi now that Alexis Sanchez has gone.

Pedro and Gerard Deulofeu will be in line to start the first game of the season if Neymar is not fit.

Sanchez was in fine form last season and bore a lot of the goalscoring brunt.

However, now that he has moved to Arsenal, Neymar will be expected to take up the slack, especially while Suarez is suspended.