Neymar to return from injury against Croatia


SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil will start Sunday’s friendly against Croatia without Neymar but the Paris St Germain striker will make a second half appearance and return from a three-month spell out injured, coach Tite said on Saturday.

Neymar has been sidelined since Feb. 25, when he fractured a metatarsal and sprained his ankle in a French league match against Olympique de Marseille.

“He’s on the bench because he is still recovering,” Tite told reporters in Liverpool, where Sunday’s game will take place. “He will come on at halftime. Who he replaces, I don’t know but that is the idea.”

Tite said Neymar, who became the world’s most expensive footballer when he signed from Barcelona for 222 million-euros ($264 million) last August, must be “a protagonist” for his country but added that the others players must also step up.

Brazil will start the game at Anfield with Willian up front alongside Gabriel Jesus.

Fernandinho will replace the injured Renato Augusto in midfield.