Sweden started the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a draw against Austria away from home. They came into the match after a 2-0 friendly victory over Estonia, but their failure to win the friendly match places a lot of importance on the upcoming qualifying matches against Russia and Liechtenstein. Manager Erik Hamren was sweating on the fitness of star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of these two matches. The Paris St Germain centre forward suffered a rib injury at the end of August while playing for his club.
It was highly anticipated that Ibrahimovic would need almost month to recover from the injury and this would have ruled him out of these two matches. However, Ibrahimovic returned to the team and became Sweden’s record goalscorer by scoring two goals in the friendly against Estonia. The 32-year-old was not unable to influence the friendly against Austria in the same manner. After going down to a penalty from Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, Sweden came back quickly with a goal from Zengin. They were unable to find the winning goal that would have given them a positive start to the qualifying campaign.
Three teams are expected to be in contention for the top two automatic qualifying places with Sweden being one of them. “I myself have not talked to him, but I have people in management who have it and we have a good handle with Paris. My hope is that it is not as serious as it might have speculated in the media. With the information I have received, I hope that it will be quickly, even in Paris as well,” said the Sweden manager a month ago about the injury situation surrounding Ibrahimovic. Home matches against Russia and Liechtenstein will be key towards qualifying for the tournament. Ibrahimovic has now scored 50 goals for the national team.
One of the stars of Barcelona, Neymar was expected to be main figure behind Brazil for the 2014 World Cup and he indeed did manage to live up to those expectations as he went on scoring 4 goals in 5 matches as the Brazilian attacker played a huge role for his country before picking up an injury that left him unable to play for around 6 weeks.
Barcelona’s next season kicks off on August 24 as they face off againstElcheand it still remains fairly unknown if whether or not the Brazilian player will be able to make it in time for the opening match of the season for his club.
Neymar has started playing in a few training sessions with his squad teammates but the medical staff ofBarcelonahave not officially revealed if Neymar can perform againstElcheas the formerSantosplayer still hasn’t fully recovered.
A statement from the official website of Barcelona said: “Although he has yet to be given a clean bill of health by club doctors, Neymar completed a full session under Luis Enrique this evening, as the squad had their second session of the day. The Brazilian has been gradually getting up to speed with the rest of the players since reporting back for duty with the back injury he picked up at the World Cup.”
Luis Enrique wanted to kick off the campaign by having all of his major stars available for him but this will not be happening as Luis Suarez is banned and will not perform for at least the opening 5 league matches of Barcelona and Neymar still has not fully recovered from the injury he sustained during the 2014 World Cup.
The Colombian defender Juan Camilo Zuniga recently apologized for his unintentional actions towards Neymar which concluded with the Brazilian star on picking up an injury that will be leaving him out of the remaining stages of the 2014 World Cup.
Camilo Zuniga released a statement which read: “I am deeply sorry and said about what happened although I feel the situation was normal in a game, there was no bad intention, malice or negligence on my part.”
Even though the harsh tackle of Zuniga towards Neymar will be leaving out the Brazilian star of the worldwide event, FIFA will not take action against what happened and this has sparked a series of criticism against the International Football Association as supporters of Brazil have compared this event with Luis Suarez who even though did not damage Giorgio Chiellini on a long term manner, the Uruguayan attacker was still sanctioned for a significantly long period of time.
However in this case, Zuniga did harm Neymar on a long term way but the Colombian defender will not receive any kind of sanctions or punishments for his actions.
Brazilis implementing a treatment with Neymar that will allow the young attacker on recovering at a quick pace but even with this fast recovery, it will not be enough for him to represent his nation at the 2014 World Cup even if they do manage on entering the finals on July 13.
Neymar expressed how hard it has been for him to not be able on representing his country at a World Cup thatBrazilis hosting, where fans are expecting theBarcelonastar on being the main attacking outlet of the squad.
“I don’t have words to describe what has been going through my head and my heart. I just want to say that I will be back as soon as possible. When you least expect I’ll be back’’ Neymar said.
Brazilian football legend Pele thinks young starlet Neymar is under a bit too much pressure to deliver the World Cup forBrazil and is concerned about his well being.
The 22 year oldBarcelonastriker has never played at the World Cup but he has been in free scoring form, scoring seven goals for the Canaries in their run of nine successive friendly wins ahead of the showpiece on home soil.
Pele told Gary Linekar in an informal chat that the player is still young, and the pressure is a bit too much on his young shoulders.
Brazilhas won five World Cup titles but has not won the title since their last triumph 2002. The hosts will faceCroatiain their opening group game, which is also the curtain raiser for the World Cup.
The Canaries won the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup with a thumping win over Spainlast year and fans expect Neymar to deliver the same kind of performance this time around and inspire the team to the much awaited sixth title.
Pele also added that it is probably for the first time in the history of Brazilian football that they have a defense better than attack and the entire nation is looking at one man to lead the attack and that is a bit unfair on the youngster.
Pele was only 18 years old when he first graced the world stage back in 1958 when Brazil won their first World Cup but he believes he had a team of experienced heads around him and the pressure on him wasn’t too much.
The legendary Brazilian also said the midfield is also fantastic and extremely organized but the goals need to come from all sources and not just Neymar forBrazil to raise the trophy aloft next month.
Barcelona superstar Neymar has stated that he is looking to return to the pitch just in time for the final match of the season against Atletico Madrid. Barcelona go into the match still with hope of winning the title. They will be able to do so if they beat the Champions League finalist. Atletico Madrid have the opportunity to seal the title last weekend but they could only get a 1-1 draw against Malaga. Meanwhile, Barcelona will be welcoming back Neymar for this match.
The 21-year-old has been suffering from a foot injury in the last few weeks. His recovery was expected to be quick given that he was included in the World Cup squad by manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. Neymar will be one of the most high profile players at the World Cup. He has been regarded as one of Brazil’s most important players for the last few years. Ahead of the match with Athletico, Neymar has stated that he is feeling fit and ready for the encounter. He has been stretching himself in recovery over the last few days.
Even though he may not be able to start the match after being on the sidelines for several weeks, Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino may decide to name him on the bench.
“I’m in the final stretch in terms of recovery and I’ll see if I can play (on Saturday) when I’m back to training. We’re really ready for this. Atletico have a great team, great players and will be hard to defeat, but we have no choice other than to go out and win,” said Neymar. The forward had a great start to his Barcelona life with an amazing first half of the season, but the second half has been very difficult for him. He has scored nine goals in the league this season.
Barcelona’s defeat against Athletic Madrid has knocked out the team of Gerardo Martino from the Champions League which is a huge blow not only for the players and fans but the coach as he is going through his debut season with the Spanish club and still has secured any major trophies.
The Brazilian arrival from Santos, Neymar suggested his teammates on focusing on their upcoming tournaments and matches instead of dwelling in the past.
“You have to lift your head up because life goes on and keep moving forward. We feel sad, losing is never easy. Athletic knew how to defend very well, they were better. With their style of football, which comes from defence, they were superior.” Neymar admitted.
The next few weeks will be crucial not only for Barcelona but especially for Neymar as he has to prove why the Spanish club decided to offload around €50 million for the Brazilian player. Neymar will be a central figure for Barcelona and their quest of securing the Spanish League title as well as the Spanish Cup.
The 2014 World Cup is over 2 months away from actually starting but Neymar recently revealed that all of the pressure and nerves is starting to build up around him.
“I think it is an honor to wear the Brazil shirt in my country and to see my greatest childhood dream come true. But the nerves are starting to appear and I’ve butterflies in my stomach’’.
“We are going to give our all out there to give Brazil the title. Your opponents always want to win and will give everything against Brazil. We have no preference regarding who we play as we know every match will be difficult. To get to the final will be a dream.” Neymar added on.
Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino has stated that the summer signing Neymar has certainly suffered from a dip in form because of the controversy surrounding his transfer. Neymar was brought to the club for a reported £ 48.5 million. This was the transfer fee revealed by Barcelona, but a complaint filed by one of the club members brought out a scam that reveals that the actual transfer fee may be in excess of £ 86 million. The whole value of the transfer when the salary of the player is taken into account crosses £ 110 million, thus making him the most expensive player in the world.
Barcelona were in danger of being filed for tax fraud before the club decided to make a payment of more than 10 million euros to the Spanish tax authorities. Prior to the revelation, Neymar was one of Barcelona’s best players this season. He was unable to match the record of Lionel Messi, but considering that this is his first season in European football, a return of 12 goals in 32 matches was extremely good for the Brazilian striker. Martino, though, says that the record would have been even better had it not been for the controversy, which seems to have affected the 21-year-old.
“If I had to give an explanation for [his form] then I would say it is to do with that. In his best moments he has played on the left or as a centre-forward and the other day he was on the right, where I also thought he did well. When a player has been out injured a month it is not easy to get back to their best form straight away. It is not like a day, or three days but a month,” said Martino. Barcelona president Sandro Rosell resigned due to his involvement in the case.
After weeks of investigation and rumors involving Neymar’s switch from Santos to Barcelona it was finally determined that the Brazilian made his move to Spain with a transfer fee of around €57 million and €40 million of that money was transferred to a company which is owned by Neymar’s father and the deal involved paying the company a substantial fee as part of the transfer in commission but Barcelona did not report or announce a lot of those facts, which is why the investigation was done and the Catalan club had to dig out many documents of the exchange.
The former president of Santos Luis Alvaro de Oliviera Ribeiro called Neymar to be a jerk and that it was a right decision to put people like him in court. He may be referring to the fact that the Brazilian knew all about the transaction with the substantial amount of money going directly to his family but instead of announcing it, he just remained quiet.
Neymar replied to Luis Alvaro de Olivier Ribeiro and he also criticized the board of directors of Santos as well as defending his father.
“Today, I understand why my friend Ganso didn’t stay in Santos: it wasn’t because he didn’t like the club or didn’t want to play for Santos, but because of the board of directors!
“I always respected all of them and I have been extremely professional. I’m utterly disappointed with former president LAOR and the current one, Odilio’’
“Today all that is gone after the things he said about my father. I’m sick of that, all that talking is getting on my nerves! If he thought my father was dumb, he was wrong! I’m a fan of my father and I’ll continue to be for having taken me to where I am today and if he made millions over that, what’s the problem? He worked; he didn’t wait for anything to fall from the skies’’.’Neymar wrote on his Intagram account.
Neymar’s £ 50 million move to Barcelona is under a lot of investigation after allegations that the club simulated most of the values in the contract. The deal that took Neymar from Santos to Barcelona is believed to have been worth € 57 million. However, only € 17 million is thought to have been paid to the Brazilian outfit with the rest going to Neymar’s parents, who own a company called N&N. It is also thought that Barcelona paid around € 8 million to secure the rights to buy Neymar in 2014. A penalty of € 30 million was also in place if the Catalan club failed to make the purchase in time.
Since Barcelona were able to complete the deal in 2013 itself, it is understood that they have paid € 40 million to Neymar’s parents. This has caused a lot of controversy in Spain and the public prosecutors are ready to approach the court in order to reveal the true figures. Any negative outcome is likely to have disastrous consequences on president Sandro Rosell’s future at the club. Rosell made it a priority to bring Neymar – one of the hottest properties in world football to the club at any price.
Neymar, though, has denied speculation that there was simulation done in his move.
“I know that a lot is being said about my contract. I have spoken to [my father] to see what they were talking about exactly. My father was the one who signed the contracts and he is someone in whom I have total trust. There is nothing illegal. In any case, if anyone has any doubts, they should ask my dad because I’m concentrating on my job, which is playing football,” said the striker.
He has been in reasonably good form, but suffered an injury last weekend.
Barcelona superstar Neymar has revealed that he is extremely happy with life at the Spanish club. The striker was £ 50 million signing from Santos in the summer. Many questioned his ability to adapt to life in European football after spending much of his youth days playing in Brazil. The 21-year-old is regarded as one of the hottest properties in world football and the Catalan club had to beat off competition from the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea for his signature. He has proven to be a good signing so far after scoring four goals in the league alone.
Neymar has said that he already has experienced intense pressure with Santos, but the pressure after moving to Barcelona is on another level. The club is expected to win every match they take part, while Neymar is also expected to score lots of goals being the major summer signing. The injury to Lionel Messi has only increased the expectations of Neymar. The Argentine superstar is not expected to return until January. Even though he plays on the left, his astronomical transfer value means that people expect to score goals on a regular basis.
“It was the right moment to leave Brazil. I have chosen a marvellous club to play for – they have welcomed me with open arms. In Brazil, if you have a ball, you are already happy. If you are happy, then everything will be alright. Sometimes it feels like a dream. I look to one side and see [Lionel] Messi. To the other, Xavi Hernández. I am incredibly excited and honoured but there’s no fear,” said the 21-year-old striker to UEFA magazine.
Neymar has been used to the prospect of being the big star at Santos, but he is adapting to being one of the top players at Barcelona.