Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar Jr. is the leader of Brazil’s attacking group. The 30-year-old has two FIFA World Cup tournaments under his belt and will be leaned upon by the younger players to be their guide as Brazil hopes to end their 20-year drought.
In an interview with CNN Brazil, Real Madrid star Vini Jr. shed a little light on how Neymar has been with some of the young players on attack, such as himself, his teammate with Los Blancos, Rodrygo, and Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli.
All three are in their early 20s, so Neymar is like their big brother on the squad and for Vini Jr., playing alongside the PSG at the World Cup in Qatar is a dream considering he has followed the career of his Brazilian teammate.
“I think for us, it is a dream, right?” Vini Jr. told the news media outlet. “Me, Rodrygo, Martinelli, younger players that we saw Neymar start at Santos and being here with him and being able to share a dressing room with him, sharing being on the pitch with him is always important.
“Of course, he’s our crack, our best player and the player who most reassures the younger players. I think he went through this a lot when he was young. Playing from a young age, having pressure from a young age and helping us is very important, and he knows that by helping us, he can also help a lot to have a great World Cup, and that is good for us and good for the Brazilian people.”
O Brasil será a última seleção a chegar para a Copa do Mundo, no Catar. Neymar, referência dos atletas mais jovens, foi lembrado em declaração do atacante Vinicius Júnior, de 22 anos, que ainda briga por uma vaga no time titular. #CNNSábadoTarde pic.twitter.com/6HYsJhfjHc
— CNN Brasil (@CNNBrasil) November 19, 2022
Vini Jr. isn’t alone with his remarks on playing alongside Neymar as his fellow Real Madrid teammate Rodrygo recently stated that it’s an “honor” that he gets to share the pitch alongside the PSG star once the World Cup gets rolling.
“First of all, I would like to say that it is an honor to play with him,” Rodrygo told reporters. “It’s my idol. I have always seen him play and he has always been a leader in the national team.
“It was already the case when he was at Santos. He has an incredible talent. He transmits a lot of confidence to the younger players in the squad. He’s a fantastic guy; he brings so much quality and confidence to this group.”
If Neymar can lead the attack and the Brazilian team to end the 20-year World Cup drought, he’s likely to have cemented himself among the greats from the South American nation.