The PSG star spoke to Fox Sports Brazil and discussed his style of play and the criticism he’s come in for.
PSG and Brazil superstar Neymar has played alongside some of the biggest names in football in his career, and the 27-year old has now admitted, in an interview with Fox Sports Brazil, that he’d like to add Chelsea midfielder and Real Madrid target Eden Hazard to that list.
Neymar could "cause havoc" with Hazard
"I would like to play with Hazard. He has a style similar to mine,” said Neymar, before adding: “I think I could give it a try. We would cause havoc together!”
Neymar has long been rumoured to be a Real Madrid target, with the player himself back in March refusing to rule out playing for the Spanish giants in the future.
Eden Hazard too is being heavily linked with Real Madrid at the moment, with Chelsea said to be willing to accept an offer of around €100 million for the Belgium international. Moreover, stories in the UK press on Thursday suggested Real Madrid would be willing to make Hazard the highest-paid player ever in the history of the club to bring him in, although sources close to this paper suggested that the rumoured annual salary of €24 million euros would be highly unlikely.
Neymar annoyed at Carnival criticism
In the interview Neymar also discussed the criticism he faced during his recovery from the foot injury he suffered in January, which has seen him miss the last few months. Above all the player was attacked when he used his time off in Brazil to go Carnival, where he spotted dancing and kissing Rafaela Porto, a singer on the Brazilian edition of The Voice.
"Of course it annoyed me. I was injured but I could walk. I'd been training for two months. What most upset me was seeing former players taking about it. They played, they did the same, and some even did worse things. And that annoyed me", said Neymar.
"I'll be honest, it really annoyed me. Now I'm not bothered about it and I don't feel like saying much more. People who know me, know what I'm like and what my character is. They know what I had to face."
Neymar has now recovered from his injury and will be back for the French Cup Final to be held this Sunday, 28 April, against Stade Rennais.
Neymar's reputation for diving
Another source of frustration for Neymar is his fame as a diver, with the Brazilian striker annoyed that his critics seem to favour rough-tackling players over skilful individuals. "People favour those who go in hard over those who dribble. They know how I play. I get the ball and I attack. My best skill has always been dribbling... People criticise my style of play... but my style is what the fans go to the stadium for. Nobody goes to see people getting kicked. If they want that, go to see MMA or boxing. I like my style of football and I'm going to carry on for a good while yet."
Neymar also struggles to understand his reputation given that he's picked up two serious injuries when, according to him, he was trying to stay on his feet under challenges. "Everyone calls me a diver. After seven months I came back and suffered the same injury because I tried to stay on my feet. And some people are asking me why I didn't go down. When I'm carrying on the move I tend to get fouled four times and then they tell me I should go down. It's tough.