Courtesy of Red Bull Newsroom
Neymar Jr reveals future hopes and ambitions after turning 25.
The Brazilian inspires millions of people around the globe with his Neymar Jr’s Five project, yet he still has aspirations of his own involving some of his heroes.
Despite still being just 25, Neymar Jr has already netted an incredible 50 goals for his country with only Romario(55), Ronaldo(62) and Pele(77) scoring more for the five-time World Champions.
And fuelled by missing the World Cup semi-final in 2014 through injury, the Barcelona star wants to fire his name into the record books and help his nation win the biggest trophy of all.
In an exclusive interview with Red Bull Content Pool, Neymar Jr said: “It would be a big honor for me, it’s a dream I have to keep playing for the Brazilian football team, to score goals and help the team the best way I can.
“And, well, I hope I’m able to keep scoring, keep setting records, that makes me happy. I don’t want to be better than anyone, all I want is to be better than myself. For me, that’s what really matters.
“I’m not anxious, but I’m already thinking about the World Cup. I am a daydreamer; I can’t stop thinking, imagining how it would be to win a World Cup. But I will work hard, so that I’m prepared for 2018.
“I have many (ambitions). I still have many things to do, there’s a lot of titles to be conquered.”
Neymar Jr celebrated his birthday on Sunday and received a personal video with messages from friends and sport stars including Marc Marquez, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.
His exploits on the pitch have already propelled him from street football in Praia Grande to one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, with a trophy cabinet packed full of silverware and individual accolades.
Currently one of the famous ‘three amigos’ alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at the Catalan giants, he is aiming for a third straight La Liga title.
And a recent run of more than 1000 minutes without finding the back of the net has been quickly forgotten with three goals in his last five games.
He said: “It’s complicated when you’re not scoring goals, especially if you play upfront, where the expectations are the highest. So it’s bad, it’s annoying, but it’s not the first thing I worry about.
“I focus on winning the match, no matter if it’s me, or a fellow player who scores. Then I think about scoring, about finding a way to get rid of the jinx.
“I know it’s a little hard (to win the title), but nothing is impossible. Last year, we were 12 points ahead of second place and we won by one or two, if I’m not mistaken. But there’s still a lot of games to go, a lot of matches, anything can happen, and we’re really focused, we are thirsty for the title and we’re going for it.”
It isn’t only at the Camp Nou though were Neymar Jr enjoys putting smiles on people’s faces. In 2016 he travelled to his hometown to attend the World Final of his signature global football tournament, Neymar Jr’s Five.
The inaugural edition featured more than 65,000 people taking part across six continents and 47 countries. This year teams from around the world will again set out in the hope of making it all the way from the qualifiers to the World Final in July at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande, Brazil.
He said: “I think nobody expected so many people in the first edition. We were really satisfied, really happy. I hope this number grows even bigger.
“The advice I’d give (the countries that are participating) is to be happy, no matter the result, no matter how hard it is. I hope they can have fun with Neymar Jr’s Five, because this is the most important – be happy, have fun and I wish them all the best again.”
The Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr is a private non-profit association dedicated to social causes, that helps 2,470 children and their families, reaching 10,000 people assisted by the work done. It is an educational and sports complex located in Jardim Glória, in Praia Grande, aimed at attending children from 7-14 years old and their relatives. Learn more about it at institutoneymarjr.org.br