Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 12th 2015 Contents A46
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, June 12, 2015
SAO PAULO---An injury robbed Ney-
mar of a chance to help Brazil win its
home World Cup. Almost a year later,
the youngster is back with another
opportunity to show he can lead the
national team to a title.
Neymar will be carrying Brazil s hopes
in this month s Copa America in Chile,
just as he did before a back injury put
an end to his World Cup last year.
The Barcelona star could only watch
as Brazil collapsed in the semifinals
against Germany, losing 7--1 in front of
shocked fans at the Mineirao Stadium.
Because of the injury, Neymar also didn t
play in the 3--0 loss to the Netherlands
in the third-place match, a disappointing
finish for the host.
The Copa America marks Brazil s first
official competition since the World
Neymar will be arriving in Chile
healthy again, and boosted by the
Champions League title won with
Barcelona last Saturday.
"I m thrilled to be able to wear the
national team s jersey again in a tour-
nament," the 23-year-old Neymar said
after being called up for the South
American competition that began yes-
The tournament will also mark Ney-
mar s reunion with the player who shat-
tered his World Cup dreams. Defender
Juan Camilo Zuniga, who fractured one
of Neymar s vertebrae with a knee to
his back, is in the Colombia squad that
will face Brazil in the group stage.
The two also played against each other
last year in a friendly in the United
States, when Neymar said there were
no hard feelings toward the Colombia
Neymar left the World Cup with his
image mostly untarnished by Brazil s
disastrous loss to Germany in Belo Hor-
izonte. Despite being only 22, Neymar
was the national team s leader and
played well until the injury, scoring four
goals in five matches.
Neymar has continued playing well
since then. He remains the team s top
star and has joined the list of Brazil s
greatest scorers all-time with 43 goals,
behind only the likes of Pele, Ronaldo,
Romario and Zico.
Neymar will be Brazil s captain in the
"We expect Neymar to perform as
well as he has been performing with
the national team and with Barcelona,"
Brazil coach Dunga said. "After we made
him the captain, we expected him to
behave a certain way and he did."
Dunga said Neymar is even better
after spending more another year at
Barcelona, where he thrived alongside
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
"His performance has improved,"
Dunga said. "He has matured and has
become more capable of overcoming
challenges. He has met our expectations.
I hope he continues to be seen as our
Because of the Champions League,
Neymar only reported to Brazil s national
team on Monday, about a week after
the rest of the squad. He missed the
team s warmup against Mexico on Sun-
day, and played only the second half in
the warmup against Honduras on
Wednesday. Brazil beat Mexico 2--0 and
Honduras 1--0. Brazil opens the Copa
America against Peru on Sunday.
Neymar gets new chance to lead Brazil
front, fights for the
ball with Honduras'
during a friendly
soccer match in
GENEVA---Fifa s top spokesman left his job yes-
terday, hours after Sepp Blatter was urged to do
the same by the European Parliament.
Fifa responded by announcing that its executive
committee will meet on July 20 in Zurich to decide
when from December to February the election to
decide Blatter s successor should be held.
That meeting will also discuss how to reform Fifa
after American and Swiss corruption investigations
unleashed turmoil on the organisation two weeks
The latest upheaval saw communications director
Walter De Gregorio, closely tied to the embattled
president since 2011, abruptly exiting Fifa three days
after telling a joke about soccer s governing body on
a TV talk show.
Still, Blatter praised Fifa s handling of the ongoing
corruption crisis in the organisation s in-house mag-
"Fifa is going through difficult times," Blatter said
in an excerpt of his column released yesterday. "This
makes me all the more proud that our organisation
runs smoothly in a crisis."
Blatter appeared to be referring to the smooth-
running Under-20 and Women s World Cups in New
Zealand and Canada. However, in what seemed like
strange timing, the advance extract from Blatter s
weekly column in a Fifa online magazine was released
two hours after De Gregorio s exit was announced.
Earlier, lawmakers from 28 European nations meet-
ing in Strasbourg, France, voted on a resolution calling
for Blatter to speed up his announced resignation
and let Fifa appoint an interim leader.
If Blatter left before the election, Fifa rules require
senior vice president Issa Hayatou of Cameroon to
step up as interim president.
Hayatou was reprimanded in 2011 by the Inter-
national Olympic Committee for taking cash payments
in the 1990s from Fifa s then-World Cup marketing
agency. He also steered through two changes of CAF
presidential election rules in the past two years to
protect his position.
urged to go
Links Archive June 11th 2015 June 13th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page