Rio de Janeiro - Brazilian football star Neymar is a party boy and he's not going to apologise for it.
At a sometimes tense press conference on
Tuesday at the facility where Brazil's Olympic football team is training for
the Rio Games, the Barcelona striker told reporters he would not change his
"I'm 24 years old. (...) I have my
faults, I'm not perfect. I like to go out and have fun with my friends. Why
shouldn't I go out and party? I don't see why not," Neymar said at the
training camp in Teresopolis, outside Rio.
Growing increasingly irritated, the
Barcelona star went on: "I really don't see the problem. It's my private
life. On the pitch, I always give everything I have."
One of the journalists had asked Neymar how
invested he was in the national team, given a recent spate of suspensions and
the fact that he went out clubbing after a 2-2 draw with Uruguay in the 2018
World Cup qualifying rounds - a match that saw him earn a yellow card.
Directly addressing the journalist, he
said: "If you were 24... wouldn't you be the same way? I'm asking
Last week, Brazil's Olympic coach Rogerio
Micale surprised some when he said: "I want to be dependent on
The next day, national coach Tite - who
will take over the Selecao after the Olympics - warned against putting too much
pressure on Neymar, saying it was "inhuman to put all the responsibility
on one person."
Brazil, a five-time World Cup champion that
has never won Olympic gold, has struggled recently to escape accusations of
being a one-man team with little threat beyond its Barcelona star.
When asked about Micale's comment, Neymar
compared himself to Argentina star Lionel Messi, his Barcelona team-mate.
"We have great players, and wouldn't
we say that we rely on Messi? Of course we rely on him. We rely on the best
Brazil's Olympic squad will play a friendly
against Japan on Saturday in Goiania.
The team is in Group A with South Africa, Denmark and Iraq.