Brazil forward Neymar has maintained that he has no interest in individual accolades at the World Cup and is simply focused on delivering the trophy to the expectant host nation.
Grabbing four goals in as many games, Neymar has been one of the tournament’s standout performers thus far, spearheading Brazil’s run to the quarter-finals, but the Barcelona star understands that the coming games will be a collective effort, with just three wins standing between the Selecao and an historic sixth title.
‘I don't want to be the best player or the top scorer,’ he told the Times of India. ‘All I want is to win the World Cup. It's what I always dreamed about. It doesn't matter how it happens, I just want to win the title'.
‘All I want to do is play football and help my teammates and my team,’ he added. ‘Not only by scoring goals but also by doing everything possible to help Brazil win.’
Playing in his first World Cup campaign, Neymar already has 35 goals in 53 games for Brazil since making his debut in 2010, standing out as the side’s undisputed talisman going into the tournament.
Touted by many for both Player of the Tournament and Golden Boot honours this summer, the team’s largely underwhelming displays in their opening four games have seen even more pressure placed on the 22-year-old’s shoulders over the past few weeks, as the likes of Fred and Hulk continue to misfire in front of goal.
With Friday’s quarter-final matchup against an in-form Colombia a tough proposition on paper, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side will be praying the Barca hitman is at full fitness, after picking up left thigh and right knee injuries in the last-16 penalty shootout win over Chile.
His performance noticeably hampered in that game, an ailing Neymar would no doubt be a huge boost to their South American rivals’ chances of causing an upset, with their own star James Rodriguez currently lighting up the tournament himself.