Neymar will have dips in his form before being able to consistently produce his best football, according to Brazil coach Tite.
After three months out with a broken foot, Neymar made his return to action in Brazil’s pre-World Cup friendly win over Croatia at Anfield on Sunday.
And the Paris Saint-Germain superstar’s spectacular run and finish got Tite’s men off the mark in a 2-0 win, Roberto Firmino adding a stoppage-time second on his home ground.
Much will be expected of Neymar at the World Cup but Tite, while pleased with the contribution made by the forward, wants to be patient with his star man.
“Let’s wait for training to take place,” Tite told a news conference of Neymar’s sensational comeback.
“He returned today above the standard and performed well above what I would have expected, he’s still recovering his fitness.
“But he’ll still be up and down before getting to his best, maybe on the third or fourth match. Please don’t create expectations yet for what he has done today.”
Neymar will have a chance to get more minutes in a friendly against Germany’s recent conquerors Austria, before Brazil open their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on June 17.
Tite has plenty of attacking options to experiment with, having the likes of Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus available, as well as Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho, Chelsea winger Willian and Firmino.
Coutinho, Willian and Neymar produced some exciting combinations at Anfield, and Tite suggested he is considering fielding them as a trio at the World Cup.
“They were all very good today,” Tite said. “It can be a possibility, but as anxious as I am, I have to give time for recovery and keep working. There’s a chance, of course.”