I don't care about pressure: Neymar

Brazil striker Neymar instists that he does not feel pressure as his country prepares to host the Confederations Cup. The Selecao begin their campaign against Japan today and the 21-year-old says he is trying to ignore any praise or criticism that comes his team’s way.

Brazil’s Neymar controls the ball during a training session in Brasilia on June 13, 2013. Pic/AFP.

“I’m a cool guy. I don’t care about pressure,” he said at a press conference. “I always try to keep it normal, even with all the praise and criticism. It’s up to me and my teammates to guide the Selecao to important titles. “Every player has his importance for the group. If one is more talked (about) than the other, it doesn’t matter in here. It’s a group where everybody will get together to take Brazil the the Confederations Cup title.

“Brazilian football is blessed, because it always has great players representing the team, and not just one. We have ten, fifteen important players, even more.”
The soon-to-be Barcelona star went on to identify as Spain as the team he would ideally face in the final of the competition.

He added: “A great national team, with players that are out of this world. They are one of the favourites. It would be a dream to play them on a final but I would do my best to help the Selecao win the title.”

Brazil go into the competition as defending champions having triumphed in 2009.

Protesters block access to venue

Some 200 homeless activists yesterday burned tires and blocked access to Brasilia’s Mane Garrincha, one of the six host stadiums for the upcoming Confederations Cup, police said. A plume of black smoke could be seen rising above the stadium area where Brazil faces Japan today.

In addition to burning tires and traffic cones, the protesters formed human chains to block access to the arena. Some carried placards proclaiming: “The Cup for whom?”, a dig at the stadium’s $475 million price tag. — AFP

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