‘The Brazil Everyone Respects Is Back’ Declares Neymar
Neymar says that the Brazil “everyone respects” is back, with the World Cup in Russia looming next summer. The Seleção of course lost the 2014 World Cup semi-final 7-1 on home soil against Germany and have since endured two poor Copa America campaigns.
But since the arrival of Tite, they have improved markedly and sailed through qualifying in top spot in the notoriously difficult CONMEBOL table. PSG forward Neymar says that Brazil are ready to be a force again.
“The respect towards the team now is different to what it was three or four years ago after the World Cup," Neymar told FIFA.com.
"People see us differently. The Brazil that everyone respects and admires is back; a team that enjoys good football. And that makes us happy. The mood of our fans and our country has changed.
"Everyone's confident and happy looking ahead to the World Cup. You can't put a price on that.” Neymar pulled Brazil through to that ill-fated semi-final, but his tournament ended in the quarter-final with a cracked vertebrae.
“It's strange because I didn't finish that World Cup the way I wanted to. Obviously I wanted to crown it with the title, but I neither won nor lost. I didn't finish the World Cup. My tournament ended with a serious injury and, unfortunately, I had to pay for that," Neymar added.
"That was a really bad week for me. I cried a lot and asked myself many times why it had happened. But eventually you understand that everything that happens in life makes you stronger, even if it's not something you want at that particular time.
“It helps you to learn and prepare yourself better in the future. I think this World Cup is going to be huge for Brazilians. Personally, I'm going give everything I've got to win it."