Neymar return to Paris boosts World Cup hopes

Paris (AFP) –


An almost fit again Neymar will fly from Rio to Paris on Friday some 40 days ahead of the World Cup finals in Russia, French daily L'Equipe has reported.

While his return is too late to have any impact for his club, Brazil fans are desperate for their iconic star to lead the team out in Russia.

The 26-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward -- at 220m euros (263m US dollars) the most expensive player in history -- broke a bone in his right foot on February 26 playing for PSG and has been in a race for fitness since undergoing surgery in Brazil a week later.

According to L'Equipe Neymar has been walking without crutches for two weeks but the star striker said last week from his coastal mansion in Rio that he would not play before a final medical on May 17, two days ahead of his club's last match of the season.

PSG declined to comment on Neymar's return when contacted by AFP but could do so later Thursday at a pre-match press conference ahead of Friday's Ligue 1 game with Amiens.

In Neymar's absence PSG were beaten by Real Madrid in the Champions League but have regained the French league title and the League Cup and face third division Les Herbiers on Tuesday.