A little Samba magic!

With a population of little over 60 000 and located on the Cheshire coast, the industrial town of Runcorn is far removed from Rio de Janeiro.

However, a little bit of samba glamour arrived on Friday night as the Brazil World Cup squad travelled to the north west for a warm-up game ahead of Russia 2018.

Neymar and the rest of the Brazil team got off the train from London at Runcorn, and were accosted by star-struck fans wanting selfies and autographs.

Brazil are in the North West ahead of today’ friendly against Croatia at Anfield, having trained at Tottenham’s The Lodge facility in Enfield, north London last week.

Despite travelling to Runcorn with the rest of the team, Neymar is not guaranteed to feature in today’s game, as he continues to recover full fitness after suffering a broken foot playing for PSG in March.

Neymar does, however, insist he will be fully fit in time for Brazil’s opening game of the World Cup, against Switzerland on June 17.

There remains plenty of intrigue around the Brazil squad for the Croatia match even if Neymar cannot play, as it marks Philippe Coutinho’s return to Anfield.

It will be the first time Coutinho has played at Liverpool’s stadium since he left the Reds in January to make a £110m transfer to Barcelona.

Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus look set to start up front for Brazil, with Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino also expected to feature.

It will also be interesting to see the reception Real Madrid stars Casemiro and Marcelo get at Anfield, after they starred in the Champions League final victory over Liverpool. – Dailymail

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