Neymar's season at club level with Paris Saint-Germain ended when breaking a bone in his foot in February. Many in Brazil have been obsessively focused on his recovery, fretting over the national team's promise to overcome its humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 semifinals.
Brazil defender Marcelo believes that a draw his team in the match against Switzerland could help in the future.
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With players like Neymar and Messi under-par, the fear of facing Brazil or Argentina is somewhat lessened.
However, Brazil paid for their failure to kill the game off when Steven Zuber powered home an equaliser from Xherdan Shaqiri's corner five minutes after the break.The pressure will now be on Brazil to kickstart their campaign when they face Costa Rica on Friday.
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Teammate Philippe Coutinho, whose impressive curling strike put Brazil in front against Switzerland before they were pegged back in the second half, played down concerns among the Brazilian media. Neymar was sidelined for about three months because of the injury and was not fully fit when he arrived in Russian Federation for the World Cup.
In trouble: Neymar set alarm bells ringing when he hobbled out of training on Tuesday in full view of the cameras.
This made him the most fouled player in a single World Cup game in two decades.
"I guess we could have been better in our last pass, that's true", he said.
Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio pledged his team would go on the attack against the Germans, who he said were favourites to win the World Cup.
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A Brazil spokesman linked the injury to Neymar being repeatedly fouled in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Switzerland.
Brazil had won 17 of its 22 matches since Tite took over as coach in 2016. We need to take responsibility and our heads have to be in the right place.
"We know they'll give us some hard moments, games at the highest level demand so much of you and force you to raise your performance".
And should he be ruled out of their important match this weekend, Brazil fans might blame their opening game opponent for the misfirtune.
He didn't appear to look very good.
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