Neymar has told Brazilian television he still needs around a month to recover from a foot operation, as the Paris Saint-Germain superstar targets a return to full fitness in time for the World Cup.
“I need about a month, but it is healing well. Everything is happening normally,” Neymar, who has not played since breaking a metatarsal bone in his right foot on February 25, told TV Globo.
Neymar’s comments were released as a short extract from a pre-recorded interview that will be broadcast on Saturday, and which may give a clearer picture of the former Barcelona forward’s state of fitness.
However, if he does come back in a month or so, it would leave sufficient time for the 26 year-old to be ready for Brazil’s opening game in Group E of the World Cup, against Switzerland in Rostov on June 17.
The world’s most expensive player suffered the injury in a Ligue 1 game against Marseille, before returning to his home country for surgery and rehabilitation.
In his absence, PSG were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid in the last 16 in March.
PSG coach Unai Emery said on Friday that Neymar was “close” to returning to the club.
“When he gets here, he will want to play. Perhaps he’ll have time to play a few matches before the end of the season,” Emery said.
“We hope to have him in the team for some of our remaining matches.”
Without him, PSG will hope to wrap up the French title with a win at home to reigning champions Monaco on Sunday.
PSG are also still hoping to get to the final of the French Cup on May 8.
The last round of games in the Ligue 1 season are scheduled for May 19, but Neymar faces a race against time to play any part.
“The speed of his recovery in the next 10 days will allow the right date to be set for a return to training without any restrictions,” was all PSG were willing to say in a statement.
Even if he is deemed fit again, it remains to be seen if he will want to take any risk before teaming up with the Brazilian national team to prepare for the World Cup.
Brazil will also face Costa Rica and Serbia in their group, as they target winning a sixth World Cup, four years after the nightmare of their 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals on home soil.
FIFA Slap Lifetime Ban On Samson Siasia For Taking Bribes
World Football’s Governing Body, FIFA on Friday issued a lifetime ban on Samson Siasia, former Nigeria Football Federation official after the body’s ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection with match fixing.
In a statement, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said the probe targeting Siasia stemmed from a wider investigation involving Wilson Raj Perumal, who has confessed to international match-fixing.
The probe that began in February found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.
In addition to being banned from all football related activity for life, Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000, 46,000 euros).
Siasia, a former striker, also briefly coached Nigeria’s men’s national football team.
FIFA did not detail the nature of ties to Perumal, a Singaporean national who was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier football games there.
Perumal later collaborated with match fixing investigators.
FIFA Issues Life Ban To Ex-Bolivian Football Chief
FIFA on Thursday banned the former treasurer of South America’s football federation for life after an ethics panel found him guilty of bribery.
Romer Osuna, who also once headed Bolivia’s football federation, was among a group of South American football officials charged with corruption in 2015 amid the unprecedented scandal that triggered sweeping reform within FIFA.
The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said in a statement that it had investigated a bribery scheme that ran from 2012 to 2015 in which Osuna was accused of “awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL competitions.”
“The adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Osuna had breached art. 27 (Bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life,” it said.
FIFA also fined Osuna 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million, 922,000 euros).
Shortly after he was charged, Osuna had pledged to cooperate with investigators, both in Bolivia and in the United States, who were probing graft within world football.
Messi, Ronaldo, Van Dijk Nominated For UEFA Awards
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk have been named candidates for this year’s UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, European football’s governing body announced on Thursday.
The prize will be awarded to one of the trio during the draw for the Champions League group stage in Monaco on August 29, after they were shortlisted by a jury of coaches and journalists.
England’s Lucy Bronze, Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and France’s Amandine Henry have been shortlisted for the women’s award. All three play for European champions Lyon.
Van Dijk has joined Messi and Ronaldo, the two iconic players of their generation, on the shortlist after starring in defence for Liverpool as they won a sixth Champions League and came close to winning their first domestic league title in 29 years.
Messi won the first edition of the award in 2011 while Ronaldo has won it on three occasions, in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Luka Modric is the current holder of the men’s award after winning the Champions League and taking Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018, while Wolfsburg’s Danish striker Pernille Harder bagged the women’s prize.
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