Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar has expressed his interest in playing for Brazil at this summer’s Copa America and the Olympic Games — if the South Americans qualify.
Like Kylian Mbappe with France, who have already booked their place in the Tokyo Games, Neymar could be selected as one of the over-23 players — meaning both could feature at two summer tournaments, with the French also in Euro 2020 action.
Neymar, soon 28, was asked about the possibility after PSG’s high-octane, 3-3 home draw with Monaco in Ligue 1 on Sunday after he scored two of the hosts’ goals and had a role in the other.
“I am in form,” Neymar said on the topic to journalists in the mixed zone. “I am willing to play at both the Copa America and the Olympics. However, I think it is a bit complicated — ask PSG.
“The other time , when I was with Barcelona, they would not let me play in both. I hope 100 percent to be able to help Brazil in some way.”
PSG could potentially start the 2020-21 season without both Neymar and Mbappe if the pair are selected for Olympic duty, but the French champions will have some say in their eligibility.
Drawn on the topic of his relationship with the PSG supporters since his return to playing for the capital outfit after last summer’s failed Barcelona return, Neymar described it as feeling like his early days at Parc des Princes.
“It feels to me like when I first arrived,” he said. “It was one of the best feelings I have experienced in football, how I was treated and received.
“Everyone knows what happened in the summer, but that story has passed. Today, I am a PSG player — I am working hard for us to have a great season and to win.”
“I have nothing against the fans — the opposite, in fact. The affection is immense, and the respect great. Not only with them, but PSG, too.
“I hope they will continue to support us and to help us from the stands. We will give everything on the pitch.”
Neymar assessed the 3-3 draw with Monaco as an “imperfect” display from Thomas Tuchel’s men, but insisted fielding himself, Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria can work.
“It was not a perfect performance,” he said. “Details were missing from everyone, myself included. It happens — not every game can go perfectly and according to plan.
“I strongly believe this formation [with PSG’s ‘fantastic four’ attackers] will work. It does not matter if you play with four, five or six strikers. If everyone runs and everyone helps each other, PSG can play in any formation.”
“I think we boast great players,” he said. “We know we have quality and we are among the best in the world. However, it is not only the four of us [Neymar, Mbappe, Icardi and Di Maria], but we also have Edinson and Pablo in attack — they are very good players, who can make a difference.
“I think PSG are lucky to have all of us.”
Next up for Neymar and PSG is a trip to face Monaco in Wednesday’s rearranged Ligue 1 clash at Stade Louis II.