sport

Neymar 'fine' for quarters

Neymar has assured Brazil fans he 'feels fine' and will able to play in Friday's World Cup quarter-final against Colombia.

Neymar scored the winning penalty against Chile last week but was battered and bruised by the end of the second-round clash in Belo Horizonte.

The Barcelona forward had to leave the pitch for treatment on two occasions after taking knocks to his knee and thigh.

But Neymar is making good progress in his recovery and says he will be fit to take part in Brazil's last-eight clash in Fortaleza.

Speaking after participating in Brazil's training session at their Teresopolis base, Neymar said: "I am able to play against Colombia. I have no pain. I feel very well trained and rest assured, I'm fine."

Saturday's penalty shootout win over Chile also took its toll on the players psychologically too.

Several of the Brazil squad broke down in tears after the 3-2 shootout win at the Estadio Mineirao.

As a result, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari decided to summon the team's psychologist to the training ground at the start of the week.

"The game against Chile was exciting for everyone," Neymar was quoted as saying on the Brazilian Football Association's website. "But the team does not have any emotional problem in the group."

Brazil may still be favourites to win the World Cup, but the deficiencies in their team are clear for all to see.

Their defence looked incredibly creaky against Chile and up front they lack a top-class striker to play alongside Neymar. So far, Fred and former Manchester City striker Jo have been far from impressive.

All that means more pressure on Neymar, but he has no doubts about his ability nor that of his team-mates.

"I do not feel burdened with the obligation to be the highlight," Neymar said. "I have colleagues who help me. Some win the ball, others give passes, others score goals. We are a team.

"It's not about one player. Here the important thing is that Brazil is champion."

Neymar has certainly dealt with the pressure of being Brazil's top man at this tournament so far.

The 22-year-old, who is nothing short of a phenomenon in his homeland, has scored four goals. Only Colombian sensation James Rodriguez has scored more.

Only an outstanding team performance will give Brazilians confidence that their team can win their sixth World Cup this summer, but Neymar does not care if he and his team-mates scrape another win against Colombia.

"The last thing we're worried about is putting on a show," the former Santos player said. "If we have to defend all the time to win, then let's do that. The most important thing is the team qualifying."