Brazil's national team has become something of a refuge for prodigious striker Neymar, offering him a break from his celebrity lifestyle and commercial commitments back home, reports Brian Homewood. Neymar has accumulated around a dozen sponsorship contracts, which make considerable demands on his time.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari says playing for the national team offers Neymar a chance to get away from it all.
"First of all, we talk about the normal day-to-day stuff, about life in general," Scolari said after the 2-2 friendly tie with Italy. "Sometimes, we speak about investments and what he has to do to make sure he has a financially secure future.
"I also tell him that when he is with the national team, he will be less exposed than he is with this club where he has to deal with a number of commitments and situations off the field. When he us with us, he is more protected, more sheltered, than in his club, the Brazil team is something of a refuge where he can get away from it all."