Recovering Neymar 'calm and confident' ahead of World Cup, says Thiago Silva

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The Brazil defender praised his team-mate's progress in his return from injury, ahead of the showpiece in Russia

Neymar is "calm and confident" as he continues his return from injury, according to Brazil team-mate Thiago Silva.

Neymar, 26, has been sidelined since February after undergoing surgery on his foot and he is still fighting to get back to full fitness.

But Silva has no concerns over his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate, saying the forward is progressing well ahead of Brazil's opening World Cup game against Switzerland on June 17.

"It's true that he's been in Brazil for a long time after the surgery but he's calm, training well," he told a news conference on Tuesday. "Of course, he won't be at the same level as the group yet because he has had three months out.

"But Neymar is smart, he's a determined person. What I try to tell him is that always, when you have a difficult situation, good things come afterwards.

"Nothing lasts forever. And this moment of the surgery won't last forever. Nor the glory. Life has both sides. I tell him to be prepared.

"I have had many injuries and I know how difficult it is to get fit after an injury after a long time, like he had.

"He's calm and confident about this and making the best in his preparation for our first game and in a great state of mind because only in this way will he manage to keep doing what he was doing."

Brazil – who face Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E – will enter the showpiece event among the favourites after an impressive qualifying campaign.

Silva said Tite's men were full of confidence as they prepare for a friendly against Croatia on Sunday.

"First of all, our expectations are great, because of all we've done in games," he said.

"Since Tite came in, we are playing at an incredible level and that's what we aim with this preparation. Our aim is to always play at our highest level so that we can arrive OK for our first game at the World Cup.

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"On Sunday, we have a difficult match and it's not even a World Cup game. We are aware of the high quality of Croatia.

"But the way we've been training and playing... this makes us confident and calm before these kinds of matches. Of course, we know our responsibility, it's a big one. But if you're relaxed when you play, this makes you play at your best."

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