SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – Barcelona forward Neymar has almost recovered from a foot injury and hopes to play in Saturday’s Spanish league decider against Atletico Madrid, the Brazilian said in an internet chat with fans yesterday.
The 22-year-old will have a late fitness test before the game, one that Barcelona have to win to take the La Liga title for the fifth time in six seasons.
Neymar also said he would be back to full fitness for Brazil’s World Cup campaign, which begins next month.
“I am in the home straight in terms of recovery and I’ll see if I am able to play (Saturday),” Neymar told fans. “I am back training.”
Having lost in the Champions League to Atletico and the Copa del Rey to Real Madrid, La Liga is Barcelona’s last chance for silverware this season and Neymar said they would give it their all.
Saturday’s clash between Atletico and Barca at the Nou Camp will be only the third “winner takes all” match on the final day of the campaign in history and the first since 1951.
A win or a draw would be enough for Atletico, while Barca need to beat the Madrid club to triumph by virtue of a superior head-to-head record, used to separate teams if they finish level on points.
“We are really ready for this,” he said. “Atletico have a great team, great players and it is going to be hard to beat them but we have no other choice other than to go for it.”
Neymar has struggled with injuries this year. He pulled a muscle that kept him out for several weeks in January and February and then injured the fourth metatarsal of his left foot in the Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid in April.