Tite warned Brazil must be "very careful" in the knockout stage of the World Cup, when they will hope to have Neymar back from injury.

The Selecao lost 1-0 to Cameroon on Friday but still topped Group G, meaning they will face South Korea in the second round, rather than Portugal.

Spain's defeat the previous day appeared to open up the draw further for Brazil, who would now play the winner of Japan's clash with Croatia in the quarter-finals.

Regardless of their opponents, Brazil will feel more comfortable once Neymar is back in action, but he has not yet trained with a ball following his matchday one injury.

Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar added: "With 72 hours before the next match, we have time on our side. We still have possibilities."

With or without his star man, coach Tite certainly will not become complacent, explaining: "Brazil lost to Cameroon. Portugal lost to South Korea. France lost to Tunisia. Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia. I think the results speak for themselves.

"I think these are very strong, very tough matches. I don't think we can think any prior situation makes it easy. We need to be very careful.

"We were very careful with the match against Cameroon. We were. We had all of those cares, we took them. They had their merits, played vertically very well. They have merit for the victory like Tunisia and the others.

"We can't say it's easier and we have an advantage. We can't say that."

Tite had made nine changes to his Brazil team, selecting an entirely different XI to that which started their finals opener.

But he said: "Who lost? All of us. Our preparation is joint preparation, our wins are joint wins, our losses are also joint losses."

The coach called on Brazil to "feel the loss", saying: "The World Cup doesn't give you a second chance, but this time it did.

"We have to concentrate for 24 hours, suffer for 24 hours, and tomorrow we start getting ready."

Besides Neymar's progress, there was mixed news on the injury front, with Alex Sandro still recovering alongside the forward but Danilo set to train normally on Saturday.

That is a timely boost as Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus are set for scans on knee injuries sustained against Cameroon.

Brazil star Neymar will be "back to his best" in time for the World Cup final, according to his father.

The Selecao have already qualified for the last 16 and only need a point to win their group after beating Switzerland and Serbia across their first two matches in Qatar.

However, Neymar suffered an ankle injury during the matchday-one victory over Serbia, ruling him out until the knockouts.

Brazil remain among the favourites to win the tournament despite Neymar's absence, which has a loose timeline.

But the forward – who is only two away from matching Pele's record haul of 77 goals for Brazil – will seemingly be back in plenty of time for the World Cup final, assuming Brazil make it that far, his father believes.

 

Speaking to talkSPORT through an interpreter, Neymar Sr said: "The most important thing is he can come back to the field and be at his best.

"When he was injured before and he came back again he was at his best. He will do his best.

"Everyone knows Neymar is very important, a great influence on the field and [on] all his colleagues. When Neymar is on the field it's totally different because he's number one. We know Neymar's importance to the group.

"I believe Neymar will be in the field again in the final match and he'll do his best to win the World Cup together with his colleagues in the Brazilian team.

"He'll do his best to help them and together win the competition."

Brazil face Cameroon in their final group game. They will meet the still undecided Group H runners-up if they do finish top.

The Selecao are aiming to win the tournament for the first time since 2002.

Neymar has been ruled out of Brazil's final World Cup group match against Cameroon, while Alex Sandro has joined the superstar forward and Danilo on the injury list.

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar hobbled off in the 80th minute of Brazil's 2-0 win over Serbia last week with a lateral ligament injury to his right ankle.

The 30-year-old sat out Monday's victory over Switzerland, in which Casemiro scored a late winner, but no official timeframe was given for his recovery.

However, team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed on Tuesday that Neymar will play no part against Cameroon, with Brazil requiring a point to guarantee top spot in Group G.

Team-mate Danilo, who has a similar ankle problem to Neymar, will also not recover in time for Friday's match at Lusail Stadium, while Alex Sandro is suffering from a hip injury.

"After yesterday's game, Alex Sandro felt pain in his left hip and was unable to continue in the game," Lasmar said. 

"This morning he was reassessed. We took him for an MRI test, which showed a muscle injury in the left hip muscle. The player will not be able to participate in the next match.

"But he is still undergoing treatment so that we can recover him as soon as possible. 

"Danilo and Neymar are still recovering from ankle injuries. Each with a different treatment because they are different injuries."

 

Neymar was fouled nine times by Serbia players, which is one shy of Brazil's World Cup record of 10 set against Switzerland in 2018.

He was fouled a leading 44 times across the 2014 and 2018 World Cups combined – once every 21 minutes, more often than any other player impeded on at least 25 occasions.

With their victory over Switzerland, Brazil became the first side in World Cup history to go unbeaten in 17 consecutive group-stage matches in a run stretching back to 1998.

Casemiro believes Brazil are in a much stronger position at the Qatar World Cup than they were in Russia in 2018.

Manchester United midfielder Casemiro lashed home an 83rd-minute winner against Switzerland on Monday, ensuring Brazil's progress from Group G.

Up to that point at Stadium 974, Brazil – shorn of the injured Neymar – had been frustrated in their attempts to break the deadlock, and looked set to be heading for a third World Cup draw against the Swiss, who they had not previously beaten in the competition.

Brazil are the first side in World Cup history to go unbeaten in 17 consecutive group stage matches (including final and second group rounds in earlier editions), though it is the first time since 2010 that the Selecao have won their opening two matches at the tournament. 

Having reached the quarter-finals in Russia before going out to Belgium, Brazil are the favourites to triumph in Qatar, and Casemiro has no doubt the squad is stronger than it was at the last World Cup.

"Four years have gone by, there are new players, this year we have a wider range of options, we have more to choose from, without even changing the team we can change the way we play," Casemiro said in a post-match press conference.

"If we substitute players we have even more options. There's no doubt the options are much greater than those in 2018. Not only because time has gone on and we are mature.

"We have defenders who are more experienced, we've had another match without conceding. It's not Alisson, it's not the defence, it starts up front with Richarlison.

"The range of options is much greater than at the last World Cup."

Casemiro's sentiment was echoed by coach Tite, who claimed the real victor of Brazil's success on Monday was the "process" of developing a younger squad.

"There's a wide range of options because there's a four-year period of developing this," Tite said.

"What won today was this four years, and them being able to develop in a natural way, despite being young.

"If that weren't the case, it would be very difficult. Who won today? This process, this development. That was the cherry on the cake."

Brazil need just a point from their final Group G game against Cameroon to seal top spot, and a match against the runners-up of Group H, which includes Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea, in the last 16.

It is unclear if Neymar, who sustained an ankle injury in last week's win over Serbia, will be fit to feature against Cameroon, but Tite was buoyed that Brazil got the job done without their talisman.

Asked if Brazil missed Neymar's influence, Tite said: "Obviously, Neymar has different skills, he is a player who can make a magical moment.

"Other players are still getting to that level, and I hope they get there. So yes, we do miss Neymar, he has a great creative power, so we miss him, but we see that there are players that can take the opportunity. Let's enjoy this win."

Neymar has lauded Casemiro as "the best midfielder in the world" after the latter fired Brazil into the knockout rounds of the World Cup against Switzerland.

After picking up an ankle injury in the Selecao's opening Group G match, the Paris Saint-Germain attacker was forced to watch his team's second match from their hotel.

In a cagey encounter, it was the Manchester United midfielder's late strike that earned Brazil a 1-0 win, and Neymar was succinctly effusive in his praise for his team-mate after the final whistle.

"Casemiro has been the best midfielder in the world for a long time," the forward simply wrote on Twitter after the match.

Having left it late to seal victory - his 83rd-minute goal was the second-latest winner for Brazil in a World Cup match, after beating Costa Rica in 2018 - Casemiro's intervention proved crucial for Tite's side.

When asked by Stats Perform in his post-match press conference on whether he agreed with Neymar, Tite replied: "As a habit, I always respect opinions, but do not comment on them.

"But I will allow myself to do so today. I agree."

Explaining why he elected to play the 30-year-old in a deeper position, he added: "Casemiro is a second midfielder, that’s what we saw happen.

"He works as a central player, he’s a surprise element from the back. If Casemiro is already high, it's easy to be marked, but when he comes from the back he can be a surprise."

Brazil wrap up their Group G campaign against Cameroon on December 2.

Kaka believes Brazil can "still perform very well" at the 2022 World Cup, despite the injured Neymar's absence.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar limped off in the 80th minute of Brazil's 2-0 win over Serbia, having been subjected to nine fouls – more than any other player during the opening round of group games in Qatar.

The 30-year-old suffered what has been described as a lateral ligament injury to his right ankle, while he shared an update on his official Instagram account on Saturday, including photos of his heavily swollen foot.

Kaka was part of a heavily fancied Brazil side at the 2006 World Cup. But despite also boasting the likes of Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Adriano, the Selecao failed to live up to expectations and bowed out in the quarter-finals following a 1-0 defeat by France.

 

But 16 years on, the former Milan and Real Madrid midfielder is confident his nation have the credentials to go far, even with Neymar on the sidelines.

"I think now, what we can see from [Brazil], is they have a very strong group," he said. "Of course, Neymar is the cherry on the cake, but they still have a very strong group.

"In the World Cup, you need a strong group - you don't need some [individual] players, you need a very strong group. And in my opinion, this is why Brazil can still perform very well."

Since making his World Cup debut against Croatia in 2014, Neymar has featured in 11 of Brazil's 13 matches at the finals. The Selecao's only defeat with him in the side came in the 2018 quarter-final loss to Belgium.

Without him, Brazil lost both matches when he was absent eight years ago after sustaining a horrific back injury against Colombia; suffering a 7-1 semi-final humiliation against Germany, before going down 3-0 to the Netherlands in the third-place play-off.

Neymar must ignore the "envy and malice" of those that have celebrated his World Cup ankle injury and focus on coming back stronger, according to Brazil great Ronaldo.

There has been a mixed reaction to Neymar being ruled out of Brazil's game against Switzerland, and possibly the next fixture against Cameroon too, even among supporters of the Selecao.

Neymar's support for Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who was defeated by Lula in elections last month, has seen some turn against the 30-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward.

That is despite Neymar appearing to be Brazil's most likely driving force at Qatar 2022, where the team are chasing a sixth World Cup title.

Ronaldo was the star of the team that landed the fifth of those trophy successes, with his eight goals at the 2002 finals, including two in the final against Germany, propelling the team to glory.

He described Neymar as "awesome" in an open letter on Instagram, posted on Sunday.

Ronaldo added: "I am sure that most Brazilians, like me, admire and love you. Your talent, by the way, has taken you so far, so high, that there is love and admiration for you in every corner of the world.

"And it is also for this reason, for having reached where you have, for the success you have achieved, that you have to deal with so much envy and malice.

"On a level of celebrating the injury of a star like you, with a story like yours. How far have we come? What world is this? What message are we passing on to our young people? There will always be people rooting against you, but it is sad to see society on a path of trivialising intolerance, of normalising hate speech.

"It is against this verbal violence with destructive power that I write to you today: come back stronger! Smarter! Hungry for goals! The good you do on and off the field is much greater than envy towards you.

"Don't forget for a second the journey that made you a world football idol. Brazil loves you! The real fans – the ones who are in favour – need your goals, dribbles, boldness and joy! Celebrate the love that comes from most of your country. You will bounce back! And may all the hate turn into fuel."

Neymar hobbled off in the 80th minute of Brazil's 2-0 win against Serbia on Thursday, with medical staff announcing he sustained a lateral ligament injury to his right ankle.

The former Barcelona forward was fouled nine times in the Serbia game, the most suffered by any player in a single game so far at the World Cup.

Nemanja Gudelj has defended the challenge on Neymar that may have led Brazil's star man to sustain his ankle injury in the victory over Serbia.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar limped off in the 80th minute of the Selecao's 2-0 triumph on Thursday, having been subjected to nine fouls – more than any other player during the opening round of group games.

Neymar, who suffered what has been described as a lateral ligament injury to his right ankle, shared an update on his official Instagram account on Saturday, including photos of his heavily swollen foot.

Gudelj received a yellow card for his 49th-minute challenge – and was substituted eight minutes later – but the midfielder insists he had no intention of injuring his opponent.

"I didn't feel like I tackled him very hard myself," Gudelj told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. "I tried not to hit him hard and certainly not on his ankle. I think he got injured during another action, because he played on for a while.

"I felt I had no choice because Neymar is deadly when he enters the penalty area. It was a necessary foul in my opinion, but one that eventually cost me a substitution."

Serbia suffered their eighth World Cup defeat since 2006 after going down against Brazil, with only Australia losing on more occasions at the finals during this span (nine).

Dragan Stojkovic's side can reignite their last-16 hopes with victory over Cameroon on Monday, before their Group G campaign concludes against Switzerland four days later.

"We played too carefully in the second half [against Brazil] and showed too much respect," Gudelj added. "We collapsed, so we certainly asked for a goal against a team with as much quality up front as Brazil.

"Whether we have seen the future world champions at work, I don't know. But they are definitely one of the favourites. They are an excellent team with technical and dynamic players. They're definitely going to fight for the gold.

"We have faith in ourselves and hope. Of course, you can lose a game against Brazil, because they really have an excellent team.

"We just need to win two games now. So, we're going full steam ahead, with attacking football – the way we like to play."

Tite conceded he made a mistake in not realising earlier that Neymar had sustained an ankle injury in Brazil's World Cup win over Serbia.

Neymar hobbled off in the 80th minute of the Selecao's 2-0 win on Thursday, having suffered what has been described as a lateral ligament injury to his right ankle.

The Paris Saint-Germain star shared an update on his official Instagram account on Saturday, including photos of his heavily swollen foot. 

Tite said in his post-match press conference that he was confident Neymar, as well as Danilo, who also suffered an injury against Serbia, would still be able to feature in Qatar.

However, at his pre-match media conference ahead of Brazil's second Group G game, against Switzerland, Tite said he could have handled his star man better.

"I made a mistake," he said. "I did not realise and I want to publicly acknowledge this.

"He was injured, I didn't see that he had an injury, we didn't get that information. 

"He tried to continue to play until he told us he was feeling his ankle, because right then he had the ability to try to push with the team, he participated in the goals.

"I hadn't seen he had an injury, it was 10 minutes and it was not malicious, it was accidental."

Neymar was fouled nine times against Serbia and has been the subject of heavy treatment during his previous two World Cup appearances.

Across the 2014 and 2018 World Cups combined, Neymar was fouled a leading 44 times – or once every 21 minutes, more often than any other player impeded on at least 25 occasions.

"If we want to celebrate the football we have to pay attention to the fouls, because they focus on specific players," Tite said. "This is a fact and it has to be stopped."

Tite remains, however, confident that Neymar and Danilo will both return before Brazil's campaign in Qatar is over.

"That's my opinion," he said. "Medically I am not in a position to speak but I do have the medical reports.

"I can continue to say that not only about Neymar but also about Danilo. Both situations have changed, but we do believe both will be available to play.

"We have to live day by day, deal with the possibilities. We have 26 players who have to be fit and in great shape, that's how we've been working. It shows why team spirit is important."

When it was put to him that even without Neymar Brazil remain favourites to win the World Cup, Tite replied: "Neymar is an extraordinary talent, but we are also relying on our other players as well.

"What I think about major talents is that they are players who do everything well and maybe in three opportunities they get them. Creativity is not constant.

"This talent comes up only two, three times in a match and Neymar has that ability.

"There are other players. An assist from Vinicius [Junior], or creativity when finishing a play from Richarlison, a header from Pedro, a chance for Gabriel Jesus, Raphinha… they have this ability."

Marquinhos believes the strength of Brazil's squad will allow them to stay at "this level" even as Neymar misses Monday's game against Switzerland through injury.

Brazil impressed in beating Serbia 2-0 in their World Cup opener, but they lost Neymar to an ankle injury following a brutal 80 minutes in which he was fouled nine times.

While the Paris Saint-Germain forward has not been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament, he will not feature in the Selecao's next match.

An injury to Neymar in the 2014 World Cup was followed by Brazil losing 7-1 to Germany, but Marquinhos believes this team – the tournament favourites – can cope with his absence.

"[We are] 100 per cent confident," the defender said.

"We wish we could have Neymar playing with us, we would love to have 26 players fully available, but we are ready and confident we will be able to show our group is strong, well trained, and ready for any difficulties we might face.

"Injuries happen, we must all be aware of these possibilities. We must be wise enough to see everybody has an important role to play, the importance of the ones who were not starting and came in.

"Now we have injuries, it's important that the ones who replace them are ready for the moment so we can play our best. I believe taking into account this talent, we'll be able to keep this level."

Asked how Neymar was feeling, Marquinhos added: "We took some time to digest the situation.

"Right after the game, he was sad. I think that's normal, because he dreamt so much about the World Cup and now he's suffered an injury. As a player, we all understand what he's going through.

"Today, after the tests, the training, the treatment, he's going through physio 24 hours a day, working very hard. It shows how much he wants to be fit and ready.

"We don't know how long it will take. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope he will be fit physically and emotionally very soon."

Marquinhos was also asked about Lionel Messi, another Paris Saint-Germain team-mate, who scored a vital goal for Argentina to keep their World Cup dream alive in what appears likely to be his last finals.

The Albiceleste are Brazil's bitter rivals, but Marquinhos said: "These players... Messi is not just an Argentina player, Cristiano [Ronaldo] not only a Portugal player – they are more than that.

"They are a privilege to football, for all football lovers, so everyone who wants football to evolve and loves football knows how precious they are.

"They do not belong only to their countries. All of us, we enjoy their presence and to see them playing.

"I have played with Messi, Neymar, other great players, and I benefit from their presence. We should all enjoy their presence as much as we can.

"But life goes on, and we know that other generations will come, new great players will come. We have to enjoy the great football as much as we can, keep looking for new players – that's what football is about. Other great players had important moments."

Casemiro is confident Brazil can get by without Neymar for now as he backed "the star of the team" to get fit in time for the business end of the World Cup.

An ankle ligament injury forced Neymar to be substituted late on in Brazil's 2-0 win over Serbia on Thursday, as they got their Qatar 2022 campaign under way.

Richarlison scored both of Brazil's goals, and the Tottenham striker's form is one factor that gives holding midfielder Casemiro heart.

Neymar will certainly miss the game against Switzerland on Monday, and most likely the clash with Cameroon on Friday.

Whether he can recover in time to feature in the knock-out stages remains to be seen, but Brazil are optimistic.

Casemiro, quoted by Brazilian newspaper Globo, said: "If we keep talking about Neymar, we'll stay here for days, because of his importance.

"He's the star of the team, who makes the difference. But we have other similar players: Raphinha, Vini [Vinicius Junior], Richarlison. We have a wide range of options.

"Neymar is one of the best in the world, and unfortunately he will not be in the next game, but we have quality players to replace him, but of course not at his level."

Casemiro cited Lucas Paqueta of West Ham as a player who might come into the starting line-up and bring added verve in Neymar's absence.

"He is another important player," Casemiro said. "Very dynamic, modern. He plays outside, inside, false nine."

Defender Danilo is also on the Brazil sidelines for now, but Manchester United star Casemiro is backing both to pull out all the stops to be back in contention for Tite's starting side.

"Danilo and Neymar are working morning, afternoon and night, making the greatest effort in the world. They know they are important," Casemiro said.

"We have great professionals and health comes first. They will do everything to return 100 per cent as soon as possible."

Neymar described the injury that has put his World Cup on ice as "one of the hardest moments of my career" after the Brazil star was sidelined by an ankle problem.

He has been ruled out of the Selecao's second Group G game against Switzerland on Monday and could also miss the tussle with Cameroon four days later.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward suffered a heavy knock to his right ankle after a challenge from Nikola Milenkovic in Thursday's 2-0 win against Serbia, needing to be substituted in the 80th minute.

He was fouled nine times in the game, more than any other player in a World Cup matchday one group game in Qatar. The next highest number was the five sustained by Spain's Gavi against Costa Rica.

Neymar is looking to crown his fine career with a World Cup triumph, and he is confident about getting back to full fitness and playing a role later in the tournament.

"The pride and love I feel for wearing the shirt has no explanation," he wrote on Instagram. "If God gave me the opportunity to choose a country to be born, it would be BRAZIL.

"Nothing in my life was given or easy. I always had to chase my dreams and my goals. Never wishing evil on anyone but helping those in need.

"Today has become one of the hardest moments in my career... and again in a World Cup. I have an injury yes, it's annoying, it's going to hurt but I'm sure I'll have the chance to come back because I will do my best to help my country, my team-mates and myself."

He was seen in tears on the Brazil bench towards the end of the game, and it would be a grim state of affairs for the 30-year-old if his injury is not one he quickly shakes off.

Neymar added: "Wait a long time for the enemy to knock me down like this? NEVER! I am a CHILD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE GOD and my FAITH is endless."

Fitness worries at the World Cup are nothing new for Neymar. He was forced out of the 2014 finals, which Brazil hosted, when he suffered a back injury in the quarter-final win against Colombia.

Across the 2014 and 2018 World Cups combined, Neymar was fouled a leading 44 times – or once every 21 minutes, more often than any other player impeded on at least 25 occasions.

Neymar and Danilo have been ruled out of Brazil's clash with Switzerland through injury.

Both players sustained ankle problems in Thursday's 2-0 win over Serbia with Neymar later seen in tears on the bench after being caught by a strong challenge from Nikola Milenkovic.

Brazilian media were speculating the Paris Saint-Germain forward was unlikely to play again until the knockout phase but doctor Rodrigo Lasmar would only go as far as confirming both players would not be ready to take on Switzerland on Monday.

He said: "Neymar and Danilo started treatment on their injuries immediately after our match on Thursday.

"This morning they were re-evaluated, we thought it was important to have MRI scans in order to have further information regarding the recovery of both players.

"The scans showed a lateral ligament injury on Neymar's right ankle and a medial ligament injury on Danilo's left ankle.

"Both players remain in treatment. It's very important that we remain calm, tranquil and we will re-evaluate daily, in order to have the best information and make the best decisions regarding the injuries.

"We can tell you that both players will not play in the next match, but they remain in treatment and our objective is for them to recover in time for the rest of the competition."

 

The loss to injury of Neymar - Brazil's star man - should come as no surprise as he was once again targeted by the opposition at the Lusail Stadium.

He was fouled nine times by Serbia players, one shy of his own Brazil World Cup record (10 versus Switzerland in 2018), before being substituted with 10 minutes to play.

Across the 2014 and 2018 World Cups combined, Neymar was fouled a leading 44 times – or once every 21 minutes, more often than any other player impeded on at least 25 occasions.

Tite is confident Neymar will continue playing at the World Cup for Brazil despite the ankle injury he sustained in a bruising opening contest with Serbia.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward limped off in the latter stages of the Selecao's 2-0 victory, which was sealed by Richarlison's second-half brace, having been repeatedly fouled at Lusail Stadium.

Neymar looked close to tears as he received treatment on the bench, before being pictured with a swollen ankle as he made his way to the dressing room.

Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed the 30-year-old will undergo further assessment in the next 24 to 48 hours but Tite, who revealed Neymar continued playing a further 11 minutes after sustaining the injury, is adamant he will return.

"[Neymar] felt this pain throughout the game, but he decided to stay on the pitch to help his team," the head coach said. 

"So it's remarkable that he could bear this pain while his team was playing. He stayed 11 minutes on the pitch after his injury, until the moment he could no longer continue, and he was substituted.

"We are confident that Neymar will continue playing; he will continue playing in the World Cup.

"I didn't see Neymar was injured – the capacity he had to overcome it tricked me, I only saw it now in the video. When he actually dribbled, it caused that injury, and in that second goal you see when he controlled the ball that he felt it."

 

Dani Alves believes Kylian Mbappe "has still not understood" the value of playing with "geniuses" Lionel Messi and Neymar in Paris Saint-Germain's attack.

Mbappe is the leading marksman in Ligue 1 this season with 12 goals – one more than Brazil international Neymar – while he is just 11 away from breaking Edinson Cavani's club record tally of 200.

However, the France international has only registered two assists in the French top flight this term, with Messi (10) and Neymar (nine) recording 19 between them.

Alves spent two years playing alongside Mbappe and Neymar in Paris, having also previously won multiple honours alongside the latter and Messi at Barcelona.

The Brazil full-back who, at 39, was handed a chance to become his nation's oldest World Cup player, feels the 23-year-old Mbappe's goalscoring exploits would be even greater should be pass to his team-mates more often.

"Neymar and Messi are unique, they see and do things that no one else sees or can do," Alves told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "You have to be smart to take advantage of their potential, they are the two geniuses of football.

"I think I can touch the ball well, but when I was playing with Leo, I was giving him the ball. And if I play with Ney, I give him the ball. If Mbappe gave the ball to those two, he would score 150 goals [in a season].

"A great player always has to know and understand who he is playing with. Your team-mates enrich your qualities.

"Mbappe is a phenomenon who has still not understood that those who play in attack with him are more phenomenal than him."

 

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