SAO PAULO, Brazil, May 16 – As Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, battles to be fit for Brazil’s World Cup campaign, he is aware of the pressure.
“Nobody is as scared as me,” he said on Tuesday.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker has not played since February, but knows that soccer-mad Brazil hopes he is fit to lead their team to glory in the World Cup.
“I know that people are a little anxious, but nobody more than me, nobody is as nervous about my comeback and nobody is more scared than me,” Neymar told Brazilian station TV Globo.
The world’s most expensive player was injured on February 25 playing for PSG against Marseille in the French league.
The 26-year-old striker underwent surgery on a bone in his right foot in Brazil at the start of Match and has since dedicated himself to preparing for the World Cup.
“It’s a very difficult time, right? I think it’s one of the most difficult I’ve ever had, because I’m very close to a dream I have, which is the World Cup,” said Neymar, who broke a bone in his neck in the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and missed the semifinal, which the hosts lost, 7-1, to Germany.
“Thank God I have this further opportunity, this further chance, to try to be a world champion for my country, which is a dream that I have had since childhood,” Neymar said. “It is my goal. I hope it is my cup.”
Neymar was on Tuesday included in the 23-man provisional Brazilian squad for the World Cup which starts in Russia on June 14. Brazil are aiming to add a sixth star on their shirts.
Neymar resumed training with PSG last Sunday. If he is to gain match practice before the World Cup his chances will come in warm-up games against Croatia in Liverpool on June 3 and against Austria in Vienna three days later.
Brazil kick off their World Cup against Switzerland in Rostov on June 17. Their group also includes Costa Rica and Serbia.