Brazil legend Ronaldo says that he has been amazed with how Neymar has coped with the enormous pressure at the World Cup so far, his four goals in four games spearheading the underperforming Selecao’s run to the quarter-finals.
One of the most highly-rated stars in world football, Neymar went into the tournament with the hopes of an expectant host nation resting largely on his slender shoulders, and Ronaldo continues to be impressed with how the 22-year-old is handling his role as Brazil’s undisputed talisman.
‘I see Neymar and I don’t think that he really thinks about the pressure. He’s very calm and relaxed, just like a kid,’ he said. 'He only thinks about playing well and scoring goals, even when the pressure is this big.
‘He’s fine and coping extremely well,’ he added. ‘But I do think Scolari will change something [for Colombia] as we’re all still waiting for a very good match from Brazil.’
Playing in his first World Cup campaign, Neymar has a way to go to match Ronaldo’s record of 15 tournament goals, although his international career is already off to an impressive start, scoring 35 times in 53 games since his 2010 debut.
Despite coming off an up-and-down debut season with Barcelona, many were still touting the forward for both Player of the Tournament and Golden Boot honours this summer, with the continuing failings of Hulk and Fred seeing him having to take on much of the goalscoring burden for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side.
Having seemingly recovered from the injuries which noticeably hampered his performance in the last-16 win over Chile, Brazil will desperately need a fit Neymar for Friday’s intimidating clash against the James Rodriguez-led Colombia, who some are even tipping to cause an upset.