Friday 16 November 2018

Neymar and Philippe Coutinho make an impact as Brazil send out a warning ahead of their World Cup mission

Brazil's Neymar
Brazil's Neymar

Brazil striker Neymar insists the five-time champions are dreaming of winning the World Cup again in Russia.

The Paris St Germain forward scored his 55th international goal to go level with Romario and sit joint-third in Brazil's all-time scoring charts during their 3-0 win over Austria on Sunday.

Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho also netted in a comfortable victory ahead of Brazil's opening World Cup game against Switzerland next Sunday.

"You have to trust, you dream," Neymar told reporters. "You can talk, you're Brazilian and you can dream; we're dreaming more and more. Dreaming is not forbidden."

Manchester City striker Jesus also insisted Tite's side are ready for the tournament.

"All the games before the World Cup were important to reach this level of performance," Jesus, who now has 10 international goals, told the Brazilian FA.

"Austria had quality and we knew it would not be easy. We managed to play, involve their team and make another big game. Not only was the attack well, the group went very well."

Brazil had spent 10 days preparing at Tottenham's training ground and beat Croatia 2-0 in Liverpool last week before Sunday's victory.

Jesus opened the scoring nine minutes before the break when he curled in from an angle after Marcelo's shot deflected into his path.

Neymar struck just after the hour as he sensationally bamboozled the Austria defence to score and Coutinho wrapped the victory up minutes later.

"The game was important to us. It was the last game of preparation before the World Cup. We deserved the victory, we played very well," added Barcelona forward Coutinho to the Brazilian FA.

"That gives you confidence. I always try to be prepared to play where the coach needs me and contribute in the best way possible."

Brazil also face Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E in Russia as they look to hit back from their shock 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany on home soil four years ago.

Neymar is now level with Romario and only behind Ronaldo (62) and Pele (77) in Brazil's all-time record scoring charts.

He joked about Austria's rough approach.

"We got ready for the UFC today, but it was good," he added. "Everyone was unharmed."

Press Association

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