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Neymar: Brazil must relieve ‘excessive burden’ when striker makes return from injury, warns manager Dorival

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Brazil have a responsibility to ease the “excessive burden” on Neymar when the striker returns from a serious knee injury, manager Dorival has said.

Selecao record scorer Neymar is not expected to return until next season with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus injury sustained to his left knee while on international duty in October.

“We have to learn to play without Neymar, respecting that he is one of the great players in world football and understanding that with Neymar focused, trained and prepared, the Brazil team is very strong,” Dorival told Brazilian outlet Bandsports.

“Without Neymar, it never stops – but each of us has to take on a little more so that we don’t leave all of this responsibility, all of this excessive burden on a player like Neymar.

“What I see is that we need this division of responsibility where everyone participates a little more, takes on a little more and naturally develops to ensure that the potential lack of a very high-level athlete like Neymar on the pitch can be covered by being prepared.”

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Speaking after his appointment in January, Dorival said he has a good relationship with the Al-Hilal forward despite a disagreement over the coach telling the future Ballon d’Or nominee not to take a penalty while he was in charge of Santos in 2010.

Dorival was sacked days later but is likely to be reunited with Neymar when the 32-year-old makes his anticipated return towards the end of 2024.

Guardiola ‘ahead of’ Klopp, Ancelotti

A hugely experienced manager at Brazilian club level, Dorival will be without Neymar for the Copa America in June and July.

Before then, Brazil will face England at Wembley Stadium on March 23 and Spain at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu three days later.

Asked to choose a manager between Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, the 61-year-old praised the Spaniard.

“I respect them all but I have a great appreciation for Guardiola’s work,” he explained. “It’s a little different; it’s work that has caught my attention a lot for years.

“I really believe that there’s a guy who reinvents himself all the time. He is ahead of everyone, for sure.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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