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Tite: Neymar still in ‘evolution’ of returning to health, form

Russia Soccer WCup Brazil

Brazil’s Neymar, left, exercises as Brazil head coach Tite instructs players during Brazil’s official training on the eve of the group E match between Brazil and Costa Rica at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, June 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)


Neymar did not cover himself in glory when he dove to earn a penalty despite the presence of a tool designed to overturn instances just like it.

The Brazilian captain returned from injury in time for the tournament, but has yet to find his peak form despite a goal at the end of a 2-0 defeat of Costa Rica.'s

[ MORE: Rojo, Messi react to win ]

Coach Tite isn’t worried about his megastar, and says folks should take a deep breath and consider that maybe the recuperating superstar is just hitting his stride ahead of the third group game, against Serbia on Wednesday. From the BBC:

“This is an evolution, if you look at the heat map of his last two games, it has increased considerably. Maybe he will be at the top of his game in the next match. We shouldn’t place the whole responsibility on his shoulders.”

Perhaps goals in his first two friendlies since returning from his broken foot put our expectations too high, but Neymar was certainly a force in the win over Costa Rica.

He’ll be needed against a very strong Serbian dark horse at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Follow @NicholasMendola