Neymar explains SA and Brazil similarities

With Brazil's U23s due to clash with Amaglug-glug at the Olympic Games on Thursday, Neymar has explained why Brazilian and South African football share some similarities.

The Barcelona superstar is expected to be a real threat to Owen Da Gama's side in their Group A opener and has made it clear that his team is playing for nothing but the gold medal. 

Also competing in the group are Iraq and Denmark.

"I expect to be able to represent my country really well and bring the expected gold medal, that we have never won in soccer," Neymar told Soccer Laduma.

The prolific forward has enjoyed success previously against Bafana Bafana when he played a starring role in a 5-0 victory in 2014. After the match Neymar won the hearts of many local fans when he lifted a young South African supporter into the air.

Neymar explained why he felt he identified with the young fan, saying: "I found myself in that kid. I'd always wanted to do that, break on to the field to hug my father when I was very young and my father played professionally and then, when I grew up, I got to embrace my idols.

"I got scared when I saw those guards trying to grab the boy and I wasn't standing for it."

The former Santos prodigy feels that SA's naturally skilful style of football should always be encouraged, adding: "Joy and boldness in football always win in the end. People like to see the tricks and dribbles, and this 'way' will again prevail in football, I'm sure."