Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar only trails iconic figures Ronaldo Nazário and Pelé in the all-time scorers' list for Brazil after scoring in their final FIFA World Cup warm-up fixture this weekend. Shortly after, the team flew to Sochi, its base for the tournament, as those back in their homeland reacted to a win which impressed and boosted expectations of winning an unprecedented sixth world title. By deploying Philippe Coutinho alongside Paulinho and Casemiro, the manager gave Brazil a lighter midfield than in most of his 21-match reign: Usually, Renato Augusto or Fernandinho were there.
Goal number 55 came after crashing in a superb goal as a second-half substitute versus Croatia at Anfield last weekend to seal a 2-0 victory.
The 26-year-old's World Cup hopes were shrouded in uncertainty and the images which followed were those of pain and concern as he was carried off on a stretcher.
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"It will depend on how far we go, how we're going to finish" at the finals, Messi said in an interview with Spanish daily Sport.
Jesus got the ball rolling with Brazil's opening goal.
Brazil attracted an army of excited youngsters - including one who managed to break onto the pitch for a selfie - as they held their first training session on Russian soil ahead of the World Cup.
There was little let up after Austria captain Julian Baumgartlinger trod on his ankle in the third minute and Neymar joked the hosts' tactics at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion were more suited to mixed martial arts. "Today was another example that, mentally, we are maturing".