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Neymar will make World Cup return stronger - Real Madrid's Marcelo

Real Madrid left-back Marcelo has wished Brazil teammate Neymar a speedy recovery from a foot operation and said he is confident that the Paris Saint-German forward will play at this summer's World Cup.

Neymar was discharged from a hospital in Belo Horizonte on Sunday after undergoing successful surgery on a fracture of his fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

The operation went well and Neymar is expected to be out of action for three months.

"Neymar knows that people are with him, that Brazil is with him," Marcelo told Brazilian YouTube channel Segue o Baile. "The situation is complicated but I'm certain that Brazilians and the whole world are sending positive energy so that he comes out of this one.

"He is going to have time to recover, he is going to arrive to the World Cup. I'm certain he will return much stronger than he was before. I also send him all the positive energy and a kiss."

Neymar has scored 29 goals in 30 games for Ligue 1 leaders PSG since his €222 million world-record transfer from Barcelona last summer.

Among the important games Neymar will miss is Tuesday's Champions League round-of-16 second leg with Real Madrid at the Parc des Princes, in which Madrid hold a 3-1 advantage from the first leg.

Neymar hopes to be fully fit with Brazil at the World Cup.
Neymar will hope to lead Brazil at the 2018 World Cup.

Neymar is expected to be fit in time for the World Cup in June.

Brazil begin their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on June 17 and also take on Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E and desperately want Neymar, who has 53 goals in 83 games for the national team, to lead their attack.

They will also have three warmup games leading into the World Cup in which Neymar could build up his fitness. They are due to play as yet unannounced opponents at the Maracana the end of May, before heading to Europe and taking on Croatia in Liverpool on June 3 and Austria on June 10.

Marcelo suffered the same injury as Neymar while training with the Selecao in October 2012 and was sidelined for three months.

"When you suffer a serious injury like this you see things differently and you begin to focus on other things that before you didn't notice," he said. "It's as though a film goes through your mind. These are times when you learn many things and you work a lot more as you cannot leave your house.

"When you are out for so long and you are in so much pain, you begin to get bored. You start to think: 'I need to work like this or like that so as to not to get injured again, go to bed early, eat better etc.'"

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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