Brazilian football star Neymar has received a warning from the national team coach, Dorival Junior, regarding his return to the squad, reported by GOAL. Neymar has been sidelined due to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament that required surgery in October of last year. Although the 32-year-old harbored hopes of making a comeback for the 2024 Copa America, the team doctor ruled him out.

Dorival emphasized that Neymar must demonstrate both fitness and focus before earning a call-up to the national team. Speaking on the matter, Dorival stated, “He is one of the greatest players in world football. Our hope is that he recovers physically. He has a place [in the squad] for everything he has accomplished in the national team, but he needs to be confident, calm, balanced, and, above all, focused. He will be part of the process as long as he is fully recovered.”

As Brazil prepares for upcoming international friendlies against England and Spain next month, Neymar will not be part of the lineup. The absence of key players, including Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Matheus Cunha, and Joao Pedro, presents a challenge for the national team.

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Continuing his recovery, Neymar is currently with Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal, who secured his services in an £86 million deal last summer. However, the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star has faced criticism for his physical condition upon returning to training with Al-Hilal. The timeline for Neymar's readiness for competitive play remains uncertain. His journey to regain full fitness and form will be closely monitored, with expectations high for the influential forward's return to the national team when he meets the requisite criteria set by Dorival.