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Dunga: National team will help make Neymar world's best

Dunga: National team will help make Neymar world's best

Posted by Juan Gavasa on December 23, 2014

The Brazilian national team will help 22-year-old striker Neymar become the world's No. 1 soccer player, the squad's coach said Tuesday.

"We are all going to help Neymar to be the best in the world. He is going to help the Brazilian team, but the Brazilian team has to be clear that, by helping him be the best in the world, we all achieve our objectives," Dunga said during an interview with SporTV.

"In 1994 (when Dunga was the captain), we worked for Romario and Bebeto. In other eras, everybody worked for Pele, for Jairzinho, for Tostao, for Gerson or for Carlos Alberto. We must have the humility to make a collective effort and also to work for an individuality to be able to be world champions," the coach said.

The most recent of Brazil's record five World Cup triumphs came in 2002.

Neymar, who plays professionally for FC Barcelona, has scored 42 goals in 59 matches with the national team, including four during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

An injury in the quarterfinal against Colombia kept Neymar out of the lineup for Brazil's semifinal showdown with Germany, which inflicted an unprecedented 7-1 rout on the home side.

That historic collapse prompted the Brazilian soccer federation to bring back Dunga as coach and one of his first decisions after returning to the post he held until 2010 was to make Neymar captain of the squad.

"Despite being a young player, in terms of technique he already sets the standard in Brazilian and international soccer," the coach said of Neymar. "After all the problems Brazil had in 2014 over issues of leadership, we took the weight off of others who were being pressured and we put it on Neymar as captain because he knows how to work well under pressure." 

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