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Updated February 23rd, 2024 at 13:17 IST

Brazil Coach Dorival Junior delivers ultimate ultimatum to star forward Neymar ahead of Copa America

Brazil's coach, Dorival Junior, issues a high-stakes ultimatum to Neymar, the star forward, just before the journey to the Copa America tournament.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Neymar
Neymar | Image:AP
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Neymar has faced intense scrutiny following his injury during an FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Uruguay in October 2023, where he tore his ACL. While striving to recover, concerns have arisen as he appears to have gained weight, prompting speculation about his readiness for the upcoming Copa America in June 2024. This has led to heightened interest in Neymar's fitness and readiness to make a strong return to competitive football. Many are closely monitoring his progress as he works to regain his peak physical form and performance abilities prior to the impending tournament.

Neymar receives major warning by ‌Brazilian coach ahead of ‌Copa America 2024

At a turning point in his remarkable career, Brazilian football phenom Neymar Jr. is battling injuries and unresolved worries about his dedication to the game. Following a difficult season with Al-Hilal in the Saudi Pro League, national team coach Dorival Junior has given the 32-year-old forward a harsh ultimatum: he wants hard proof of Neymar's abilities to earn a desired roster slot for Brazil.

Physical setbacks have plagued Neymar's recent path, most notably from a serious knee injury he suffered while serving for his country last year. Neymar's hopes of making it to the 2024 Copa America were shattered by the team doctor's diagnosis, though, and he was left sidelined and unsure of his future in football.

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Unexpectedly, Brazilian coach Dorival Junior has acknowledged Neymar's evident brilliance but has also offered a warning, emphasising that there is no certainty the youngster will play for the national team. Although Neymar has been hailed as one of the greatest players in the world in the past, Dorival has set strict requirements for Neymar's comeback, stressing that he must be physically prepared, maintain a laser-like focus, and dedicate himself fully to the game before he can rejoin the national team.  Dorival Junior said: 

"It is one of the main projects. Neymar is a very important player. He is well aware of that. He is one of the greatest players in world football," 

“Our hope is that he recovers physically. He has a place in the squad for everything he has accomplished in the national team, but he needs to be confident, calm, balanced, and, above all, focused. He will be part of the process as long as he is fully recovered.”

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Published February 23rd, 2024 at 13:17 IST

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