Brazil boss backtracks on Neymar doubts, reaffirms support

New Brazil coach says he has 'no problem with Neymar' (0:58)

Brazil manager Dorival Júnior talks about Neymar's injury and his past with the striker at Santos. (0:58)

Brazil coach Dorival has said Neymar will continue to play a key role in the national team's future amid the Al Hilal forward's recovery from serious injury.

Neymar, 32, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus in his left knee while on international duty in October.

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Dorival had said last month that although he considers Neymar among the world's best three players the Selecao must learn to play without him.

However, he appeared to go back on those comments and insisted Neymar still has a place in his plans.

Asked about Neymar's recovery, Dorival said: "It is one of the main projects. Neymar is a very important player. He is well aware of that. He is one of the greatest players in world football.

"Our hope is that he recovers physically. He has a place [in the squad] for everything he has accomplished in the national team, but he needs to be confident, calm, balanced and, above all, focused.

"He will be part of the process as long as he is fully recovered."

Brazil need a boost in the South American World Cup qualifiers. They are sixth with just two wins and three losses in six games. Qualifying resume in September.

Neymar will miss the Copa America in the United States this summer.

Neymar had surgery on his left knee in November in Brazil but recently returned to Al Hilal to continue his recovery.

Since making his debut with Brazil in August 2010, Neymar has scored 79 goals in 128 international appearances.