Neymar returns with brilliant solo goal against Croatia

Neymar returns with brilliant solo goal against Croatia

The most expensive player in the world has been sidelined since February 25, when he fractured a metatarsal and sprained his ankle playing for Paris St Germain in a French league match against Olympique de Marseille.

Tite said there was no doubt that Neymar gives them something extra but said that needed to be kept in perspective. Neymar is going to be just fine this summer.

Neymar was greeted by warm applause from the mostly neutral Merseyside crowd as he replaced Fernandinho at the start of the second half. "Then he will have his normal standard", Tite said.

"It is handsome to watch him play again, he is special, one of the best in the world", Modric said.

Brazil were finding it hard to fashion chances despite having close to 69 per cent of the ball, with Alisson again forced into action to parry Ante Rebic's header, as both coaches took the opportunity to make further changes to their sides.

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scored Brazil's second goal in the 90th.

Since Tite's appointment in June 2016, the captain's armband has been rotated and against Croatia, Gabriel Jesus became the 15th player - in full internationals - to lead the side under the current regime.

"I am here to help Brazil. I always respect his [Tite's] opinion (regarding his dispute with Jesus for a spot in the Starting XI)".

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

It was a notable afternoon also for former Liverpool striker Coutinho, who made his first appearance at Anfield since his transfer to Barcelona in January, and received a smattering of boos from some of his old club's supporters.

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

Croatian defender Dejan Lovren - also playing at his home ground - almost gave his country the lead when he headed just over from 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.

Tite did not confirm the move but said: "Our orientation is for them [players] to solve [transfers] as quickly as possible so they keep their head and effort focused on Brazil. If I were the manager there, I would try to sign him too".

He underwent surgery and it was expected that he won't be fit in time before the World Cup but the most expensive player in the world worked on his fitness and returned to training a few weeks back.

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