Brazil boss Tite has rated the Paris Saint-Germain wantaway Neymar among the top three players in the world, as the forward draws close to returning to action after a three-month absence
The 27-year-old picked up an ankle injury in Brazil’s friendly clash with Qatar in the build-up to the 2019 Copa America and has not performed for the club or country ever since.
But, the former Barcelona man is on the verge of returning to the playground after being deemed fit for the Selecao’s Friday showdown against Colombia.
Speaking of Neymar’s physical condition ahead of their friendly against Los Cafeteros, Tite said: “He has recovered from the injury that as everyone remembers removed him from the Copa America.”
Tite said the team has improved with regards to not depending on Neymar as much, but he is still an indispensable member of the squad.— Brasil Football 🇧🇷 (@BrasilEdition) September 5, 2019
Tite pointed out that when Neymar is on the field, half of the goals / assists are from him. pic.twitter.com/DjSfE9bBCi
“If he wasn’t fit, he wouldn’t be with the national team. We are not irresponsible to force a situation when it concerns the athlete’s health.
“Me and the coaching staff will be very attentive to his development. He is ready. He is capable of doing what the team needs.”
Tite has also taken the opportunity to place Neymar among the elite, naming him the third-best player after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Fifty percent of goals scored by Brazil with Neymar on the pitch are because of his goals or an assist he makes,” he told reporters. “The team needs him, and he needs the team.
“From individual technical quality, I put Lionel Messi on top and Cristiano Ronaldo, because they are of another generation.
“From there, I put another generation: [Neymar] and Eden Hazard are two extraordinary players for me. One advantage Neymar has over Hazard is that they think alike, but he executes faster. He’s unstoppable.”