Neymar: I'm not a national hero

Brazil supporters are pinning their Confederations Cup hopes on the 21-year-old's slight shoulders, but he insists his sole focus is on doing his bit as part of a team
Brazil attacker Neymar has attempted to play down expectation over his performances at the up-coming Confederations Cup, insisting he is not "a national hero."

The forward, who completed his move to Barcelona late last month, will have the weight of a nation on his shoulders when the tournament kicks off in Brasilia this week, but the 21-year-old believes his most important role is simply to work hard for his team-mates.

“Am I a national hero? I’m not indisputable. In football you play well one day and on other days you do not,” he told Brazilian GQ magazine.

“You can't hit your shots into the top corner every day. I know what role I have to play, but I play to help the team, be it with assists or goals."

Neymar has scored 20 goals in 34 appearances for the Selecao since making his debut in 2010, but he has shrugged off the pressure that comes with pulling on the shirt for the five-time world champions.

“I'm used to it. Since I was little I dreamed of playing for the national team and now I'm thrilled to take on that challenge,” he added.

“But I want to insist that I'm not a hero, and I'm not a villain either if things don't go so well.

“The passion for football that exists in Brazil is incredible. I'm aware of this, so I'm not sure how things are going to turn out."

Brazil begin their Confederations Cup campaign against Japan on June 15.