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Only Messi and Ronaldo better than unstoppable Neymar, says Tite

00:03 BST 06/09/2019
Neymar PSG
The Paris Saint-Germain star could make his return from injury on Friday and Brazil boss Tite has talked up the forward's importance to the side

Brazil boss Tite labelled Neymar as one of the top three players in the world and declared the Paris Saint-Germain forward is ready to make his long-awaited return from injury.

Neymar has not featured for club or country since injuring his ankle in a pre-Copa America friendly against Qatar in early June.

However, the 27-year-old is part of Brazil's squad for Friday's friendly with Colombia in Miami and has been passed fit to play at the Hard Rock Stadium.

"He has recovered from the injury that as everyone remembers removed him from the Copa America," Tite told reporters at Thursday's press conference.

"If he wasn't fit, he wouldn't be with the national team. We are not irresponsible to force a situation when it concerns the athlete's health. Me and the coaching staff will be very attentive to his development. He is ready, he is capable of doing what the team needs."

Despite winning the Copa America in Neymar's absence, Tite insisted the former Barcelona star remains an integral part of his plans and considers him behind only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the list of the world's best players.

"Fifty per cent of goals scored by Brazil with Neymar on pitch are because of his goals or an assist he makes," he told reporters. "The team needs him and he needs the team.

"From individual technical quality, I put Lionel Messi on top and Cristiano Ronaldo, because they are of another generation.

"From there I put another generation: [Neymar] and Eden Hazard are two extraordinary players for me. One advantage Neymar has over Hazard is that they think alike but he executes faster. He's unstoppable."

Vinicius Junior is also back for Brazil's friendlies with Colombia and Peru after missing out on Copa America selection because of an ankle injury.

He has struggled for consistency since joining Real Madrid from Flamengo last year, but Tite has called for patience when it comes to the teenage attacker's development.

"His irregularity is something natural for a boy of his age," he said.

"I spoke a lot with him during these days and he is an amazing lad that has extraordinary talent. He has six or seven gears and incredible speed.

"When we see him playing in Madrid, we overvalue his ability to mature. Things are happening very quickly in his life. At times we forget that he is only 19 years old. We have to give him time and take care of him.

"He still has to perfect a lot of things, but his natural talent is bigger than everything he needs to improve on. He also has to work hard on an emotional level and look after himself. He has a charisma like no other and everyone loves him. He has earned everyone's love."