Neymar can fire Brazil to redemption backed up by all-star supporting cast

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It was his 10th goal since being handed his worldwide debut, and he remains the top scorer since Tite took charge of the team.

He is now equal third in Brazil's scoring charts with Romario and only behind Ronaldo (62) and Pele (77) after scoring in Vienna. "His technical and creative ability is fantastic".

The five-time world champions, drawn in Group E, begin their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on Sunday, 17 June before facing Costa Rica and Serbia.

"We got ready for the UFC today, but it was good", he added.

Argentina captain Messi, one of the biggest stars in Russian Federation, said his worldwide future will be determined by his country's performance at the World Cup.

In his blog on UOL Esporte, respected journalist Paulo Vinicius Coelho, known as PVC, noted how Brazil had "transformed a hard game into an easy [one]" by beating an Austria side that had won its last seven fixtures.

"We've just lost three finals in a row, which has led to us going through some hard moments with the press", added the Barcelona forward.

Brazil also face Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E in Russian Federation as they look to hit back from their shock 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany on home soil four years ago.

The forward smiled, waved to the fans who had flocked to the stadium and joked around with his friends in the star-studded squad during the light training session, while Tite kept a watchful eye over his talisman.

If he lacked conviction in the previous outing and watched his Liverpool counterpart strengthen his case with a goal, then Jesus today looked like a man with a objective.

"He still feels pain. this type of injury needs a recovery period of three weeks before going back to the field", he said.

While the favourites limber up, host nation Russian Federation are under intense pressure as they prepare to open the tournament.

Ranked a lowly 70 in the world, Russian Federation have not won for seven consecutive games.

Will Brazil raise gold in Russian Federation?

Across social media, talk of the coveted 'hexa (or #Heaxabilidade, #Hexaiscoming - take your pick) i.e. the aforementioned, coveted sixth world title, went into overdrive with a public who although long deflated due to political and social unrest that has dogged the country since 2014, seem to be showing an increased confidence in their national side which could provide them with a welcomed distraction from the day-to-day struggles encountered in Latin America's largest nation.

Before Thursday's kickoff, Federation Internationale de Football Association will focus on choosing the host of the 2026 World Cup between a joint bid featuring the United States, Canada and Mexico and underdogs Morocco.

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