Brazil right-back Danilo knows Neymar’s fitness is improving with the World Cup approaching – because he is starting to give him the runaround in training.
All eyes are on Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar as he steps up preparations for Russia 2018 alongside his international colleagues, despite being ruled out of domestic action with a broken metatarsal since the end of February.
Tite’s men kick off their World Cup bid against Switzerland in Rostov on June 17 but Neymar’s first target for match practice is Sunday’s friendly with Croatia at Anfield.
According to Manchester City’s Danilo, everything is on track.
“I’ve been talking a lot with him because, in these 10 days, I always got to confront him in the training sessions,” he told a news conference.
“So, every day we talk because I always go and challenge him and each day he is better, faster and it is more and more difficult to block him.
“We hope he can arrive at the World Cup, if not at 100 per cent then something very close to it, because for us this is very important.”
Danilo is chasing a starting berth with the Selecao after PSG veteran Dani Alves was ruled out of the World Cup with knee ligament damage.
“First of all, Dani Alves’ injury left us all sad because what he can give to this squad is unrivalled,” said the former Real Madrid defender.
“What he gave to this group over all these years is his fighting spirit, his leadership and his style of playing. No doubt, that’s a big loss.
“But [Corinthians full-back] Fagner and I have been working hard to do our best to contribute to Brazil also and we are focusing on this.
“Dani, for sure, is an experienced man with a strong mindset. He’ll get over this and we’ll try to do our best.”