Brasilia, June 14 (IANS) Barcelona’s latest recruit Neymar says he feels no added pressure by wearing Brazil’s No.10 shirt immortalized by Pele.
The 21-year-old striker assumed the symbolic jersey from midfielder Oscar for Brazil’s friendly against England June 2 and will retain it during the Confederations Cup that starts here Saturday, reports Xinhua.
Despite failing to score in any of his past nine matches for club and country, Neymar is adamant he is on the verge of recapturing his best form.
And he insists his goal drought has nothing to do with the change of shirt.
“Everybody has expectations and the pressure is always there to perform,” Neymar said during a press conference Thursday.
“We all know what our responsibilities are and we are doing everything we can to win the Confederations Cup and World Cup, which is what the fans most want.”
Neymar’s scoring drought has now extended to 842 minutes. The longest goalless sequence of his career came in 2011 when he failed to net for 895 minutes.
The newly signed Barcelona star denied reports that he is suffering from knee tendinitis.
“No player is ever 100% fit. We always feel a pain here or there but that is normal,” Neymar said.
“There is nothing wrong with me and I certainly am not in any kind of pain, like some people have been suggesting.”
Brazil will face Japan in the Confederations Cup opener at Brasilia’s Mane Garrincha stadium Saturday.