Russian Federation 2018: Neymar led Brazil thrash Austria in final warm up match

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"All the games before the World Cup were important to reach this level of performance", Jesus, who now has 10 worldwide goals, told the Brazilian FA.

As the atmosphere built before Thursday's curtain raiser between the hosts and Saudi Arabia, the French and Argentine players were put through their paces while Brazil took the day off.

The Brazilians landed in the early hours in Sochi, the Black Sea resort where they will be based, buoyant after beating Austria 3-0 in their final warm-up match.

It was Neymar's 55th goal in a Brazil shirt, allowing him to draw level with Romario on his country's list of all-time leading scorers - only Pele and Ronaldo have more goals for their country. Holders Germany, Brazil and Spain are among the favourites to lift the World Cup come July 15. The ace forward is his country's biggest hope at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation and will be tasked with spearheading the Tite-coached team's attack.

However, when Tite took over as manager in August 2016, his plan was to rehabilitate Brazil's much-maligned 2014 World Cup captain. At the time, Thiago was injury prone and seemingly burnt-out while Marquinhos was "flying".

Manchester City striker Jesus also insisted Tite's side are ready for the tournament.

France, who boast "world-class" talent in Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba, according to Australia midfielder Massimo Luongo, are among the tournament favourites in Russian Federation alongside Brazil, Germany and Spain.

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He latched onto a through ball from former Liverpool team-mate Roberto Firmino before sliding home.

"We managed to play, involve their team and make another big game". Not even Neymar hit the net that often under Tite.

Doubt was cast over the player's chances of going to Russian Federation when he picked up an injury playing for Paris Saint-Germain in March, but after months of rehabilitation and recovery, Neymar appears to be getting back to his best.

Neymar started a game for the first time since injuring his metatarsal in February although he played in the second half of last week's win 2-0 over Croatia when he celebrated his return with a goal.

The 26-year-old Barcelona superstar was targeted by Neymar and Premier League duo Willian and Gabriel Jesus.

Neymar was one of the chief pranksters, but was assisted by teammates.

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