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Football: Brazil pin-up Neymar mobbed in Japan

Published on Jul 31, 2014 10:10 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo caught “Neymar fever” on Thursday when the Brazilian superstar jetted into the Japanese capital sporting sunglasses, baseball cap and designer stubble on a whistle-stop visit to sign a sponsorship deal with a bed manufacturer.

The 22-year-old Barcelona forward, still recovering after fracturing a vertebra at the World Cup, was greeted by 700 screaming fans at Tokyo’s Haneda airport before being whisked off to a television studio, which rolled out a red carpet for his arrival as if for royalty.

"My back is getting better and I’m hoping to join up with my team-mates as soon as possible,” Neymar told reporters later as he perched on a foam mattress the makers claimed had secret relaxation properties.

"I have to make sure I continue the rehab and get my back fixed properly so I can be at 100 per cent. I’m really looking forward to next season,” he added.

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