Neres 'won't be afraid' in Brazil debut

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-11 08:24:30|Editor: Li Xia
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RIO DE JANEIRO, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Ajax forward David Neres has vowed he will "not be afraid" to take on defenders if given the chance to make his international debut for Brazil this month.

The 22-year-old was last week drafted into Brazil's squad for the matches against Panama and the Czech Republic following an ankle injury to Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior.

"Brazil has great dribblers and it's an important part of my game. I won't be afraid to play the way I normally do, which is the most important thing," Neres told Esporte Espetacular on Sunday.

The former Sao Paulo player added that he wished 18-year-old Vinicius, who had been handed his first national call-up just days before the injury, a prompt recovery and quick return to Brazil's squad.

"It is sad for him because he was playing very well for Real Madrid and had just been called up [to the national squad}]," Neres said. "I hope that he will come back stronger."

Neres is in his third season with Ajax, having joined the Dutch club in January 2017 for a reported fee of 12 million euros.

This season he has scored three goals and provided eight assists in the Eredivisie while adding another goal and two assists in the Champions League. He described the past week as the best of his career.

"I also celebrated my birthday so it was an unforgettable week," Neres said. "I don't think I've had one like it before."

Brazil will meet Panama in Porto, Portugal, on March 23 and the Czech Republic in Prague three days later.

The matches will provide one of the last chances for Brazil head coach Tite to test his players before he names his squad for the Copa America.

The five-time world champions have been drawn in Group A alongside Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru for the continental tournament, to be played in Brazil from June 14 to July 7.