Neymar thrilled to be back, at ’80 percent’

first_img0Shares0000Neymar beat multiple defenders before lashing in Brazil’s opening goal midway through the second half © AFP / Oli SCARFFLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Jun 3 – Brazil star Neymar said he was “very happy” to have made a goal-scoring comeback in a 2-0 friendly victory over Croatia on Sunday, but insisted he was only firing at “80 percent”.“It’s been three months that I’ve been injured,” said Neymar, with the World Cup to start in Russia in 10 days. “To come back and do what I love the most, playing football, and furthermore to score a goal, is an immense joy. I’m very happy.”The Paris Saint-Germain forward appeared as a half-time replacement for Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho as the Selecao stepped up their World Cup preparations.And Neymar needed just 23 minutes at Liverpool’s Anfield ground to prove how important he is to Brazil’s hopes of a sixth world title.Receiving a pass from Philippe Coutinho, Neymar cut into the area, beating Sime Vrsaljko and Duje Caleta-Car with impressive close control and dribbling, before burying a shot into the roof of the goal, via the crossbar, from the edge of the six-yard area.But he added: “I still feel a little pain, but that’s normal when you spend so much time not walking.“I feel at 80 percent of my capacity.”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.“It was to thank him. Not only Lasmar, but also Rafa and Rica (his physiotherapist and physical trainer). They’ve been there 24 hours a day with me.“I want to thank all the people who’ve been important for me.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Will Ronaldo stay? 12 players who were DENIED transfer after asking to leave

first_img 12 2. Gareth Barry (2004) – Even though he signed a new contract the previous summer, the academy product was eyeing up the Villa Park exit door after six years of service. David O’Leary’s side finished an impressive campaign in sixth place and reached the semi-finals of the League Cup – but Barry still slapped in a transfer request. However, Barry was forced to remain in Birmingham before Manchester City came calling five years later. 1. Patrick Vieira (2001) – After ending the 2000/01 season empty-handed, Vieira made it clear where he saw Arsenal within the standings of European football. The Gunners captain said: “As far as I’m concerned, the matter is resolved. I am leaving Arsenal and I have made that perfectly clear.” But despite consistent interest from Real Madrid, Vieira was talked into staying before eventually departing for Juventus in 2005. 12 12 12 3. Steven Gerrard (2005) – The Liverpool legend’s failed transfer to Chelsea is arguably the most famous on this list. Six weeks after picking up the Champions League, Gerrard made clear his desire to leave Anfield after growing frustrated with his side’s failure to challenge for league titles. Jose Mourinho’s invitation to join the freshly crowned champions for a fee of £32million seriously tempted Gerrard – but a fierce backlash to the impending transfer forced Gerrard into a rethink. 10. Luis Suarez (2013) – Following a controversy littered career at Anfield, Suarez added to the furore surrounding him by demanding an immediate exit from Anfield. Claiming boss Brendan Rodgers had ‘failed to keep his promise’ of allowing him to leave, Arsenal emerged as frontrunners for the forward and offered £40,000,001, in an attempt to activate the Uruguayan’s release clause. But Suarez eventually apologised, before coming within touching distance of winning the Premier League title. 11. Morgan Schneiderlin (2014) – Following a mass exodus of players at Southampton – as well as manager Mauricio Pochettino to Spurs – Schneiderlin appeared to be the next asset about to be stripped from St Mary’s. With former boss Pochettino eyeing a reunion with the French midfielder, Schneiderlin assumed he would be allowed to seal a move away like many of his teammates. The Saints resisted, though, as Schneiderlin vented his frustrated on Twitter, saying: “6 years of an amazing journey #saintsfc DESTROYED in 1 hour !!!” 4. Dani Alves (2007) – The Sevilla full-back was one of European football’s hottest properties following his exploits with the Andalusian outfit in the UEFA Cup. Chelsea fans thought they had signed the Brazilian for a €30million fee, before finding out it was flat out rejected. Alves said at the time: “I want to continue growing as a player and if that has to be somewhere else, then it will be somewhere else.” Suitably irked at being forced to stay in Sevilla, Alves watched his then manager, Juande Ramos, jump ship midway through the season. 6. Franck Ribery (2009) – The French midfielder may look back on the summer of 2009 with a tinge of regret. With Real Madrid determined to lure the world’s best attacking talent to the Santiago Bernabeu, Zinedine Zidane tried to get Ribery to move clubs and join Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo in Spain. And despite declaring, “I have made up my mind, I want to leave. It will be Real or nothing,” Ribery ended up staying in Munich. Trophies followed in Bavaria, but Madrid never revived their interest and Ribery missed out on a dream move. 12 8. Luka Modric (2011) – After failing to secure Champions League qualification, Modric decided it was time to force through an exit from White Hart Lane. The Croatian attracted serious interest from Chelsea, with the player himself naming the Blues as his first choice ahead of his expected departure. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy insisted the player would not be sold – even turning down a £40million bid – as Modric helped the club to a fourth place finish before moving to Real Madrid in 2012. Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly handed in a transfer request at Real Madrid in a bid to force through an exit from the Spanish capital.The 32-year-old has been accused of defrauding the Spanish tax office of 14.7million euros over image rights payments – allegations which he has strongly denied.Ronaldo would likely have a select number of clubs willing to accommodate his wish, should he leave the current European champions.But what if Los Blancos force him to stay? Here, talkSPORT looks at 12 players who were denied transfers after making clear their desire to leave the club.  7. Wayne Rooney (2010) – Manchester United’s star striker shocked the footballing world after declaring his desire to leave the club. Citing his concerns about his employers being able to attract top names to Old Trafford, there looked to be no way back for the Red Devils’ talisman. However, in an equally surprising move, Rooney went on to sign a new and improved five-year contract at the club. The decision paid off for both parties as further trophies arrived and Rooney became the club’s record goal-scorer. 9. Christian Benteke (2013) – The Belgian forward emerged as one of the Premier League’s most fearsome strikers after bulging the net regularly under Paul Lambert at Villa Park. Interest soon followed, with Tottenham proving to be the most serious in their admirations for the target man. But despite previously making clear his desire to leave, Benteke eventually signed a new contract. 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 5. Rafael van der Vaart (2007) – The Dutchman tried everything he could to force through a move from Hamburg to Valencia – even being pictured holding the shirt of the LaLiga side. After seeing a €14million offer turned down, Van der Vaart pulled out of a European game after supposedly injuring himself while playing with his one-year-old son. The ploy was a tactic to ensure he was not cup-tied, but the trick failed to pay off, as the playmaker remained in Germany for another season before joining Real Madrid a year later. 12. Saido Berahino (2015) – One of the most sorry transfer sagas to have occurred in recent years involved West Brom youngster Berahino. Following a breakthrough season in the Premier League, he was soon attracting interest from Tottenham. Spurs were willing to pay up to £22million for the striker, but the Baggies held firm as chairman Jeremy Peace insisted the player was going nowhere. He kept true to his word, but he probably wishes he hadn’t, as Berahino barely featured for the club before leaving for Stoke City in 2017.last_img read more