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Neymar turns to psychologist

ESPN staff
July 3, 2014 « Italian clubs chase Arsenal World Cup star | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Neymar: I am not overworked

Brazil striker Neymar has consulted a sports psychologist to help deal with the weight of expectations before his country's quarter-final showdown with Colombia on Friday.

Neymar, 22, is the poster boy of the World Cup and has almost single-handedly inspired the hosts on their journey to the last eight but after Brazil's draining penalty shoot-out triumph over Chile in the first knock-out stage, the Barcelona forward admits he has benefited from some help.

"I had never done anything like it before and I am quite enjoying it," he said. "It's not only us, in football, who are surrounded by emotion every day and need psychologists. It could do every person good, to make one more relaxed.

"We have a very good relationship with Regina [Brandao], she is a great person and I am learning a lot and hope to continue to do that."

Neymar was one of several players who broke down in tears following the dramatic win over their fellow South Americans, with goalkeeper Julio Cesar and Thiago Silva crying even before the shoot-out had begun. Yet, he insists they are in the best mindset possible before Friday's game against Colombia in Fortaleza.

"What happened is that it was a very emotional match against Chile, it was very difficult," Neymar said. "I was very moved, it's natural. Each player deals with his emotions differently,

"But nobody is struggling emotionally. All players are doing well and are prepared to play against Colombia, and, hopefully we will advance to the next round."

Neymar has scored four goals in as many matches thus far in the tournament but appeared to sustain thigh and knee injuries in the last outing. Fears of him being sidelined have been downplayed, however, after the striker joined his team mates for training. "I'm fine," he insisted. "I'm not in pain at all."

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