First puzzle solved. Neymar Jr. completed his first training session at the Seleçao completely normallywho is now directing Fernando Diniz, in Belém, the Amazon capital of the state of Pará. The session was held at Mangueirao Stadium, the same venue where the Canarinho team will face Bolivia in Friday’s debut South American qualifier for the 2026 World Cup.
Great expectations were raised to find out what the true form of the Brazilian star would be, who is focused on his team without yet having made his debut with his new team Al-Hilal.
On Friday, before leaving for his country, “Ney” was not even asked by his coach, Portuguese Jorge Jesus, to play the outstanding Saudi Pro League clash against Al-Ittihad led by Karim Benzemáwhere leadership was at stake. Al-Hilal eventually won 3-4 thanks to a hat-trick by Serb Aleksandar Mitrovic to move into first place.
Neymar’s absence from this latest clash had raised many suspicions whether he was physically fit to play for the Canarinha as he was recovering from a muscle injury.
It’s been almost seven months since ‘Ney’ last met formally when he was still at PSG. It was on February 19 in the 4-3 win over Lille. He injured his battered right ankle (the same one injured at the World Cup in Qatar) in the 51st minute and eventually had to undergo surgery, which took place in Doha.
From what was seen in this Tuesday’s session, Neymar is ready to bet on the Seleçao’s ’10’ again not seen since the tragic penalty shootout defeat by Croatia in the 2022 World Cup quarter-finals.