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Gabriel Jesus Wants Brazil to Step Up in Neymar’s Absence

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus wants Brazil to prove once more that they are capable of winning without Neymar after it was confirmed their star player would miss out the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Venezuela.

Selecao No.10 Neymar is struggling with a groin strain, that made him miss Paris Saint-Germain’s past three matches in all competitions – including a Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig.

Brazil are just as reliant on the 28-year-old as his club, with their remarkable semi-final collapse against Germany at a home World Cup in 2014 coming after he was injured in the last eight.

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But Tite’s men were also without Neymar for last year’s Copa America, a competition that they’ve won, and Jesus does not believe his side is allowed to look for any excuses.

“Obviously we talk about the importance of Neymar with his club and for our team, how much he has given and gives every day. I’m a big fan,” Jesus said.

“But when it comes to the national team, everyone has to share the responsibility, it can’t just fall on him. Everyone is here for a reason.

“With Neymar, we were closer to victory, but the Selecao demonstrated that they can play without him. We always want him to be available, as he scores, assists. But if he can’t play, while we know his importance, we have to share the responsibility.
“Whoever is here has the quality to make the Selecao win.”

Jesus, who both scored and was sent off in the Copa America final, is determined to play his part, having missed the previous international break through injury.

“Even as a young man, I have a certain history here and I am happy to wear this shirt that I always dreamed of,” he said.

“And whenever there is a call-up, it is the same party as always; I look, I hear my name and I am moved. I always want to come and help, and this time I came with 100 per cent focus to be able to help.”

After hosting Venezuela on Friday, Brazil then travels to Uruguay for another World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. Tite’s side have won their past three fixtures and tallied 12 goals scored in the process.

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