Brazil manager Tite has confirmed that Neymar is the country’s captain on a permanent basis again.
In the buildup to the 2018 FIFA World Cup and at the tournament itself, the coach took the unusual step of rotating the armband, giving different members of the squad the chance to lead the side out.
However, speaking about the captaincy ahead of the team’s meeting with the United States on Friday, Tite said Neymar is ready to lead the side on a full-time basis, per Selecao Brasileira:
Speaking about the honour, the Paris Saint-Germain forward said he feels as though he’s well placed for this extra responsibility, per Sacha Pisani of Goal.
“I accepted again because I’ve learned a lot, and I will learn much more,” Neymar said. “And this responsibility will be a good thing to me. … My responsibility is even bigger due to the captaincy, but if you don’t play [good] football, there’s no need of it.”
The Brazil captaincy is a role that Neymar held previously, but following the Selecao’s win at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he decided to relinquish the armband.
Neymar does appear to be the natural choice to captain the team as they build towards the 2019 Copa America. As Goal UK highlighted, only two Selecao icons have been more prolific than the forward:
While Neymar is undoubtedly Brazil’s attacking talisman, he didn’t enjoy the best of World Cups.
Having suffered an injury in February, the forward missed the end of the domestic season for PSG and only returned to action during Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup. Despite looking sharp in some of the warmup matches, he wasn’t at full tilt at the tournament.