Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian football star Neymar is a party boy and he`s not going to apologize for it.
At a sometimes tense press conference on Tuesday at the facility where Brazil`s Olympic football team is training for the Rio Games, the Barcelona striker told reporters he would not change his ways.
"I`m 24 years old. (...) I have my faults, I`m not perfect. I like to go out and have fun with my friends. Why shouldn`t I go out and party? I don`t see why not," Neymar said at the training camp in Teresopolis, outside Rio.
Growing increasingly irritated, the Barcelona star went on: "I really don`t see the problem. It`s my private life. On the pitch, I always give everything I have."
One of the journalists had asked Neymar how invested he was in the national team, given a recent spate of suspensions and the fact that he went out clubbing after a 2-2 draw with Uruguay in the 2018 World Cup qualifying rounds -- a match that saw him earn a yellow card.
Directly addressing the journalist, he said: "If you were 24... wouldn`t you be the same way? I`m asking you."
Last week, Brazil`s Olympic coach Rogerio Micale surprised some when he said: "I want to be dependent on Neymar."
The next day, national coach Tite -- who will take over the Selecao after the Olympics -- warned against putting too much pressure on Neymar, saying it was "inhuman to put all the responsibility on one person."
Brazil, a five-time World Cup champion that has never won Olympic gold, has struggled recently to escape accusations of being a one-man team with little threat beyond its Barcelona star.
When asked about Micale`s comment, Neymar compared himself to Argentina star Lionel Messi, his Barcelona teammate.
"We have great players, and wouldn`t we say that we rely on Messi? Of course we rely on him. We rely on the best players."
Brazil`s Olympic squad will play a friendly against Japan on Saturday in Goiania.
The team is in Group A with South Africa, Denmark and Iraq.