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BRAZIL

Jesus honoured to captain Brazil as Neymar prepares to return

Jesus honoured to captain Brazil as Neymar prepares to return

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Gabriel Jesus is relishing the opportunity to captain Brazil in their World Cup warm-up fixture against Croatia, with superstar team-mate Neymar set to return. Manchester City striker Jesus will wear the captain's armband in tonight's international friendly at Anfield. Brazil head coach Tite has rotated the captaincy since taking over in 2016 and Jesus is the latest player set to lead the South American giants.

Gabriel Jesus at Anfield yesterday.

Captain Jesus

Speaking ahead of the clash on Merseyside, Jesus told reporters: "I was surprised that I was selected to be the captain, but I accepted it normally. A lot of responsibility."

The 21-year-old, who helped record-breaking City win the Premier League in 2017-18, added: "Danilo joked with me about being the captain, and I said that if he does not cross the ball well, I'll call his attention. But it's a joke. I have the opportunity to wear the jersey of the national team, and the coach makes it clear that on the field I will be a leader. Tomorrow [Sunday] I will represent my country as captain. I have to take this responsibility, it is not easy, but I have to take it."

Neymar at Anfield

Fabled No.9 shirt

On wearing the number nine jersey, Jesus said: "I didn't even expect to be a football player one day, it was just a dream. And the number nine shirt is the same, I always dreamed about it, and went after it. I have the opportunity to wear the number nine that was from many players who made history with the Seleção, and I intend to follow the same path."

Brazil have been drawn in Group E alongside Switzerland (17 June), Costa Rica (22 June) and Serbia (27 June) for the World Cup.