While you slept: Neymar reveals injury scare, Pele cheers Brazil from hospital, Croatia won’t surrender against Brazil, says coach

Neymar scored his 76th goal, one short of Pele’s all-time record for Brazil as they defeated South Korea 4–1 to progress to the quarter-finals for their eighth consecutive World Cup.

After the match, the Brazil striker revealed he feared his World Cup was over after spraining his ankle against Serbia two weeks ago.

“I was thinking about a million different things,” he said.

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“I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to play this World Cup again, but I have the support of all my colleagues, my family and I tried to find strength where I couldn’t find it. Reading all the encouraging messages helped my recovery.

“I felt nothing on the ankle. “I think I played well, but there is always room for improvement.”

At full-time, Neymar carried a banner bearing the name of Brazilian legend Pelé on the pitch.

“It’s hard to put it into words,” said Neymar.

“I wish Pele the best. He will get healthier very soon, I am sure.”

Pelé applauds Brazil

Brazil great Pelé cheered on his country’s national team against South Korea from hospital, where he is being treated for a respiratory infection aggravated by Covid-19.

“In 1958 I was walking the streets thinking about keeping the promise I made to my father,” the three-time World Cup winner wrote on Twitter, alongside a photo of a then 17-year-old Pele.

“I know many have made similar promises today and are also looking for their first World Cup. I will watch the game from the hospital and keep my fingers crossed for you all. Good luck!”

Pelé is in hospital, but one of his daughters has denied that the 82-year-old is receiving palliative care.

Croatia not surrendering against Brazil: Coach

Croatian national coach Zlatko Dalic has made it clear that his team will not surrender against Brazil in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

The 2018 runners-up, and smallest remaining nation in the tournament, triumphed 3-1 on penalties to deny Japan a first appearance in the last eight.

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Six of Croatia’s last seven games in the knockout stage of a major tournament have gone into extra time and Dalic stressed that his team’s ability to recover from lost positions “reflects the Croatian people”, with a nod to the players’ psyche in which they grew up. a war-ravaged country as the former Yugoslavia fell apart in the 1990s.

“This generation is a resilient generation, they don’t give up and they reflect the spirit of the Croatian people who have been through so much pain. The Croatian national team brings so much pride and joy to our people. We give them confidence in a better future,” he said.

“We are a new generation of Croatian footballers, 18 were not at the World Cup in Russia and I said to them: ‘This is your chance to make history.’ We succeeded and the new players have their chance. I always say: don’t underestimate the Croatian people.”

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