No attacks on Neymar, pledges Costa Rica boss Ramirez

I could have never imagined I would be here, says Ahmed Raza

No attacks on Neymar, pledges Costa Rica boss Ramirez

The 26-year-old's last World Cup ended prematurely after he took a knee in the back and fractured a vertebra in the quarter-final with Colombia at the tournament in Brazil.

There was no shortage of tough tackling on display as Costa Rica lost 1-0 to Serbia in their first group outing, but Ramirez told a pre-match news conference at St Petersburg's Krestovsky Stadium his players will not resort to illegality with their place at Russian Federation 2018 on the line. "We have our own strategy and we will see what happens". We'll see - maybe we'll cover him with two men - we'll see.

"My players know what to do".

The only change comes at right-back, with Fagner replacing Danilo, who has sustained a muscle injury.

Neymar's fitness will be under the microscope on Friday as Brazil try to kickstart their World Cup campaign, anxious to avoid the kind of pitfall that has left Argentina and Lionel Messi facing an early exit. "We have to give our best and we want to win the match", Petkovic said. "Sometimes we are a little self-destructive I fear".




"Certain information has been published and supposedly they come from inside the team, but I wouldn't say so", he added.

"It is true that some players are closer to other players but there are not different groups, there are no problems at all within the team", he said. "I haven't had to intervene at all, there were no clashes".

Brazil´s forward Neymar reacts during a training session of Brazil national football team at Yug Sport Stadium, in Sochi, on June 19, 2018, ahead of the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup football tournament.

Both teams trail Serbia in the group, with Brazil behind by two points. A Malayali girl is among the children who would accompany players with the ball for the Group E match to be staged at the St. Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg.

"We have prepared very well physically and tactically, so we will have to use that in tomorrow's game, as well as our psychological strength".

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