Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has stressed he will not take any risks with Neymar at the Club World Cup ahead of Thursday’s semi-final against Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao.
The Brazil international recently picked up a groin injury and is unlikely to feature against the AFC Champions League winners.
Neymar could potentially play in the final if Barcelona manage to see off Guangzhou, but Luis Enrique will only select the former Santos star if he feels he is 100 per cent match fit.
“Neymar continues his recovery. The fact that you don’t see him training does not mean he is not recovering,” Luis Enrique said at a news conference.
“I am not in favour of taking any risks with injured players like Neymar.
“We will have to wait and see whether he can play. We will have to win the semi-final first before playing the final…”
Barcelona will have to deal with the Chinese Super League winners before thinking about a potential final and Luis Enrique has warned Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men – who beat America 2-1 last time out – should not be underestimated.
“I don’t think the match against Guangzhou will be an easy one. We are not taking things for granted. Just look at what happened with America,” he added.
“We cannot afford to make the mistake to think that we have no rivals at this tournament. We have analysed Guangzhou and they are very good on the ball.
“Their captain [Zheng Zhi] is a great player. I do not remember all their names, apologies for that.”
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