Former Uruguay international Diego Lugano believes Brazil have never been so strong and remain World Cup favourites, particularly after Neymar's return.

Tite's men are yet to hit top form in Russia, but a 2-0 win over Costa Rica on Friday lifted them into first place in Group E.

Neymar, who was sidelined for three months before the tournament due to a foot injury, got on the scoresheet in that victory.

Lugano – a 95-time Uruguay international – feels Brazil deserve to be favourites to win the tournament.

"I still think that Brazil, together with Spain, are the strongest team in the World Cup, and the most solid," he said.

"I've never seen a Brazil squad so strong coming into a World Cup, with so many players.

"They're tactically organised like never before, physically strong and very solid mentally. Tite has done a great job with them.

"I still think Brazil are the favourites to win this World Cup, even more with Neymar back to full fitness and playing again."

Not yet guaranteed a spot in the last 16, Brazil face Serbia in their final group game on Wednesday.