Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar acknowledged he is not a “perfect role model” nor a “superhero”.
The Brazil international has spent almost two years with Paris Saint-Germain, but rumours of unhappiness, rocky relationships with team-mates and a lack of commitment have rarely been far away.
More recently, Neymar failed to report back for pre-season training earlier this month amid speculation he wants to return to Barcelona, while PSG sporting director Leonardo confirmed the forward was available for a transfer if the price is right.
Neymar further risked the wrath of PSG supporters on Saturday when highlighting Barca’s remarkable 2016-17 Champions League turnaround against his current employers as one of his two favourite football memories, though he showed a more vulnerable side at the Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five football tournament in Sao Paulo on Sunday.
The former Barca man said: “I’m no superhero nor perfect a perfect role model. I also have my bad moments, when I want to go home and hide, to stay with my friends and family.
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“I’m no superhero that handles all the pressure in the world, but I make an effort because I know what I’ve become, not only to my family and son, but for most of the children that are here.
“I know I have a huge responsibility and I want to act in the best way possible. Always being honest, that is the most important thing.”
Neymar missed Brazil’s successful Copa America campaign due to an ankle injury and he was especially gutted to be absent as that tournament had been his big goal for the year.
“Being out of Copa America was so bad, I didn’t like it,” he added. “I don’t even like to stay out of training, so you can imagine [what it was like missing] Copa America.
“That was so important to me and was my focus this year, but I cheered a lot for my colleagues and friends.
“I was really happy to see them win, even more than if I was playing. Their happiness is mine also.”