Neymar has fired back at critics who focus on his life outside of football, saying he “would not be at the top level” with Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil were he not dedicated to his work.
The striker has often commanded as many headlines for his actions off the pitch as he has on it.
However the 29-year-old has sought to deflect such associations, claiming his prowess shows he is serious about the sport, admitting that some reports leave him “irritated.”
What has been said?
“I would not be at the top level if I were not serious,” Neymar told YouTube channel Fui Clear. “I go out when I can, when I have time, when I have days off. There is no problem.
“They should judge me on the pitch. My life, I do what I want – I cannot be judged, I’m free. I wouldn’t be at my level if I was not careful with my phsio. It leaves me a little irritated.
“I like football. Playing is my favourite thing in life. I want to be remembered as one of the most authentic and truest players that ever existed. I’m real. I don’t hide anything.”
Neymar on drive to succeed
The Brazilian also spoke about his experiences playing with the national team and the process of adapting to life with PSG once more following the arrival of old friend Lionel Messi.
“On the pitch, I will always give my life for the Selecao,” he added. “I transform on the pitch because I want to win. I make mistakes a lot, but I have matured, I try to do my best.
“[Messi at PSG?] We are getting to know each other better and better and we have everything to have a great season and win titles.”