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Football: Neymar ready for historic Maracana tussle with Spain

Brazilian star Neymar vowed on Friday to help fire Brazil to a third straight Confederations Cup title at the expense of world champions Spain to show fans they can expect fireworks when he arrives in La Liga with Barcelona. "We will be playing for our families, our friends, but above all for the Brazilian nation. "We are ready for what will be an historic match," the 21-year-old starlet said as he looked forward to a mouthwatering encounter with the Spanish on Sunday in Rio's Maracana stadium.

Football: Neymar to make Barca deubt against Santos

Barcelona's latest superstar signing Neymar looks set to make his debut against his old club Santos, after Barca announced on Friday that the Brazilian side will be their opponents for the annual Joan Gamper trophy match. "Santos will be the opponent for the Joan Gamper trophy that will be played on August 2 at 21.30 at the Camp Nou," said a statement on the Barca website.

Football: Brazil slam Uruguay over Neymar diving comments

Brazil's Football Confederation (CBF) on Wednesday slammed Uruguayan skipper Diego Lugano for comments made hours before the rivals' Confederations Cup semi-final labelling Neymar a diver. "Lugano's comments made ahead of the game are totally out of order," said the CBF after the veteran defender Lugano claimed that Neymar goes down too easily. "We have to watch out that nobody has the wool pulled over their eyes. He can go down easily and fool the referee," said Lugano, on loan to Malaga from Paris Saint Germain.

Brazil defend Neymar after diving accusation

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (Reuters) - Brazil have defended their star striker Neymar against accusations of diving and said Uruguay's attempts to discredit him ahead of Wednesday's Confederations Cup semi-final were a transparent attempt to influence the referee. Uruguay defender and captain Diego Lugano said Neymar was "very apt at pretending to be fouled" and warned that this should be watched closely.

Football: Neymar counter-attacks in word and deed

Targeted by protesters as a symbol of football's disconnection from reality, Brazil superstar Neymar went on the counter-attack by chiding the government and then sinking Mexico on the pitch in the Confederations Cup. Lauded ever since his debut as a teenager for Santos, the Brazilian club made famous by his illustrious predecessor, Pele, the prodigious attacker has long been accustomed to being the centre of attention. Typically, it is praise from male football supporters and howls from his female fan club, nicknamed the 'Neymarzetes', that he attracts.

Football: Neymar punished us, says Mexico coach

Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre rued poor finishing and the genius of Neymar after his side's Confederations Cup ambitions were dashed by Brazil in Fortaleza on Wednesday. Neymar scored one superb goal and made another in a 2-0 victory that sent the hosts into the semi-finals, while Mexico's elimination was confirmed by Italy's 4-3 win over Japan in the second Group B game. "We conceded a goal at the start, with a great effort from Neymar, which changed the circumstances," said De la Torre.

Neymar leads Brazil to easy 3-0 Confederations Cup win over Japan

Brasilia, Jun 15 jun (EFE).- A spectacular goal by Neymar started Brazil on the road to an easy 3-0 victory over a hapless Japan squad, which was never in the running against the host team in the opening game of the Confederations Cup tourney. Neymar, lashing a shot into the net early in the first half; Paulinho, with a quick finish at the beginning of the second; and Jo, with a counterattack in injury time, won the game for Brazil, which played better than in recent friendly matches but without totally overpowering its rival.

Football: Neymar's day as Brazil beat Japan in opener

Neymar inspired Brazil to a 3-0 win over Japan on Saturday as the five-time world champions made a perfect start to their bid to clinch a third successive Confederations Cup title. Brazil won the competition in 1997, as well as the 2005 and 2009 editions, although their ensuing World Cup performances left much to be desired. With next year's World Cup on home soil for the first time since 1950, this year's vintage are bent on winning both tournaments, if only to send a message out to Pele, who said before Saturday's game the current squad are not good enough.

Football: Neymar bullet gives Brazil ideal start

A scorching third-minute strike by Brazil poster boy Neymar set the hosts on their way to a 3-0 win over Japan in the opening game of the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brasilia on Saturday. Neymar, 21, broke the deadlock at Estadio Nacional with a 20-yard half-volley, with Paulinho doubling Brazil's lead three minutes into the second half before substitute Jo added a third in injury time. Victory gives the five-time world champions the early momentum in Group A, ahead of Sunday's fixture between Italy and Mexico at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana.

Football: Confederations Cup standings

Confederations Cup standings after Saturday's match (played, won, drawn, goals for, goals against, points): Group A At Brasilia Brazil 3 (Neymar 3, Paulinho 48, Jo 90+3) Japan 0 Brazil 1 1 0 0 3 0 3 Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Mexico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Japan 1 0 0 1 0 3 0 To play: 16/06: Mexico v Italy 19/06: Brazil v Mexico 19/06: Italy v Japan 22/06: Japan v Mexico 22/06: Italy v Brazil afp
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