Inter right-back Maicon has acted as deputy to Daniel Alves following the appointment of Mano Menezes as Brazil coach.
Maicon will start against Romania on Tuesday, however, due to the Barcelona player’s release from the squad.
And the 29-year-old wants to impress enough to reclaim the place on a permanent basis. Not just because of the obvious, but also because he will no longer have to mark Neymar, a forward with a penchant for drifting out to the left flank, during first-team-versus-reserves training matches.
"Marking Neymar is difficult," admitted Maicon. "And because we’re on the same side [in matches], we can’t go in hard on him during training. We can’t make do without him.”
The former Cruzeiro and Monaco man, who has 63 international caps to his name, also believes Neymar, 19, has a bright future.
"The boy is smooth," Maicon said. "I’ve already watched a number of his games for Santos. We’re all aware of his quality.
"He’s a young player who will still learn a lot. At his age he’s already showing that he is a great player."