'I'm 80 Per Cent,' Says Neymar After Scoring for Brazil in Comeback Appearance

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2018

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Neymar of Brazil during the International friendly match between Croatia and Brazil at Anfield on June 3, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Neymar admitted he is still not quite at 100 per cent despite finding the net in his first appearance in over three months on Sunday, just 11 days before the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. 

The Paris Saint-Germain star opened the scoring for Brazil as they beat Croatia 2-0 in a friendly at Anfield.

It was the 26-year-old's first appearance since being stretchered off against Marseille with a foot injury on Feb. 25 and Neymar said after the match that he is still not back to full fitness, per MailOnline's Spencer Morgan:

"It's been three months since the injury. To be back to do what I love the most, which is to play football, and even score a goal ... I'm very happy. But I still have some fear, a certain fear, but little by little, with each training session, I'm letting myself go.

"Let's see what the week's training will be like. Little by little I'm getting better. I'm happy for today. I still feel a little uncomfortable, but it's normal because I've stayed a long time without stepping on the pitch. I'm 80 per cent."

Neymar was put on at half-time by manager Tite against Croatia and duly produced a moment of magic in the 69th minute to show just how valuable he is to the Brazil side, per FIFA World Cup:

The fact that he got 45 minutes of game time under his belt is perhaps more important than his goal.

Since being injured back in February he has undergone foot surgery and endured a long period of rehabilitation.

It always seemed unlikely he would be fully match fit in time for Brazil's opening Group E match against Switzerland on June 17.

But if he can get some more minutes in Brazil's final warm-up friendly against Austria on Sunday he should be nearing 100 per cent by the time the tournament starts.

It was not only Brazil fans who were excited to see Neymar back in action at Anfield:

The PSG man is one of the world's star players and many will hope to see him light up the World Cup as Brazil go in search of a sixth title. 

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