Tuesday Kickoff: Neymar scores four in Brazilian rout; Suarez denies racist past; and more

Tuesday Kickoff: Neymar scores four in Brazilian rout; Suarez denies racist past; and more

European Soccer

Tuesday Kickoff: Neymar scores four in Brazilian rout; Suarez denies racist past; and more

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NeymarBrazil1-Japan2014 (AP)

By DAN KARELL

Neymar is currently showing that he’s in the best form of his young career.

The 22-year-old Brazilian forward scored all four goals in a 4-0 victory over Japan in a friendly match in Singapore, adding to his scoring total for his country and his scoring total since returning from a back injury suffered during the World Cup.

Neymar scored in a multitude of ways: two shots with his right foot in a one-on-one situation, a left-footed goal off a rebound, and a header. In addition to his goal against Colombia in a friendly in Miami in September, Neymar has scored five goals for Brazil this fall and eight goals for Barcelona in all competitions.

The four goals against Japan give Neymar 40 in his career for Brazil, taking him one above Bebeto and keeping Neymar on track to eventually overtake Pele’s total of 77 national team goals.

Here are some more stories to start your Tuesday:

SUAREZ DENIES PRIOR ALLEGATIONS OF RACISM

Luis Suarez served an eight-match ban in the 2011-2012 season for racially abusing former Manchester United left back Patrice Evra, but the Barcelona forward is still denying the allegations against him.

The Uruguayan international, in an interview with Barcelona magazine, claimed that he was being accused of being a racist without evidence.

“When I say I’m sorry it’s because I regret something,” Suarez said. “Being sorry implies regret. But they have also sometimes judged me on things that aren’t true, such as the racism thing. I was accused without evidence and that’s what grieved me the most. The others were actions when it was me who did wrong. I accepted that and begged forgiveness, but the racism thing, when I was accused without evidence, that did upset me.”

Suarez also claimed that it was very difficult for him to accept that he had bitten Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup and “face the truth.”

“It is good to accept that you have made a mistake and that’s what I did,” Suarez said. “I left it a few days because you have to remember that I’m only human and sometimes it’s hard to face the truth. I found it hard to take in and to realize what I had done.

“Those were days when I didn’t want to know about it. I just wanted to be with my wife and children, who supported me through that time. I didn’t want to listen to anybody, or speak to anybody. I didn’t want to accept it.”

ROSICKY PICKS UP INJURY, WALCOTT, GNABRY BACK IN TRAINING

Arsenal received a major boost on Monday, but fell back down to earth on Tuesday morning.

The Gunners learned that midfielder Tomas Rosicky picked up a muscle injury in the Czech Republic’s 2-1 victory over Turkey on Friday and it was bad enough that he was unable to face Kazakhstan on Monday. Rosicky’s injury adds to Arsenal’s rising injury list, which includes Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Debuchy, Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey, and Mikel Arteta.

On Monday, Arsenal released pictures of both Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry back in full training for the first time this season. Walcott has been out for more than nine months as he recovers from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament, while Gnabry has been out since April with an undisclosed knee ailment.

QUICK KICKS

PSG and Brazilian national team defender Thiago Silva returned to training for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury in August. (REPORT)

Andre Schurrle is expected to miss Germany’s Euro 2016 qualification match against the Republic of Ireland with flu-like symptoms. (REPORT)

Chivas defender Carlos Salcido has received medical clearance to return from a foot injury. (REPORT)

Sierra Leone national team players are being taunted during matches with chants of “Ebola, Ebola.” (REPORT)

15-year-old Martin Odegaard became the youngest player in European qualification history when he came on for Norway as a second-half substitute in Norway’s 2-1 victory over Bulgaria. (REPORT)

Belarus coach Georgi Kondratiev resigned from his post after a 3-1 defeat to Slovakia. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Impressed with Neymar’s goals against Japan? What do you think of Suarez’s comments? Do you see Arsenal overcoming their latest loss in midfield?

Share your thoughts below.

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