“How do you feel physically?
I felt an embarrassment (one thigh) during my last matches with PSG, it bothered me in my performances and in training during the week. With the World Cup approaching, it was decided together with the PSG medical staff that I needed a few days off to deal with this problem. I came back, resuming my normal training routine little by little. And today (Thursday), I was able to do the full session with the group, I am very happy. A week before our start (against Serbia), it’s a good sign. I think I kept a good physical condition because I played a lot with Paris.
“We have a lot of options today offensively, with a great diversity of profiles and that’s one of our strengths”
Can this World Cup be Neymar’s?
The pressure and this label of technical leader are inevitable for him, it has always been like that since he has been in Seleçao. It’s normal when you see everything he is capable of doing and the qualities he has. But he copes. He arrives at the World Cup in excellent physical shape. I’m with him every day, I know how prepared he is, how focused he is on the project, how much he gave up on his everyday life. He’s my close friend, I can 100% guarantee what I’m saying. But I always tell him that he doesn’t have to carry more weight than the others. There are experienced players around him to support him, and young people who take responsibility.
So it can allow him to really shine?
I hope so, I hope so! We have a lot of options today offensively, with a great diversity of profiles and this is one of our strong points. The division of leadership is also the division of responsibilities. We all help each other. There is Thiago, Casemiro, me…
What does your coach bring you, Tite?
The experience he gained in the last World Cup brings us a lot of advantages. He speaks with us without any filter. Since we got together, we’ve been working a lot because we had to quickly reach a good level of intensity. He also tries to give us a lot of information. As soon as we arrived here, we already had meetings to prepare for the match. It says everything that needs to be said, shows everything that needs to be shown. It’s the World Cup, and it’s all about small details. He wants to prepare everything, it’s his way of doing things, leaving nothing to chance. He tells us exactly what he wants, how he wants us to behave in specific situations.
Your practices are open to the press, so everyone knows what you’re up to. Is this a disadvantage?
No, because we have nothing to hide. This way of working can only be good, because if you shut yourself up too much, the press will end up speculating on what’s going on, it won’t really be the reality… something is happening, everyone is there and sees it, it’s already clarified. We cannot let bad things from outside affect us. The team is well prepared, the atmosphere is very good, we are ready to face anything. »