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ESPN3 2:00 AM UTC Aug 23, 2017
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Neymar's role for Brazil same as Pele, Zico and Falcao, says Dunga

Brazil manager Dunga has likened Neymar's role within the national team to that of Selecao icons Pele, Zico and Falcao, and has backed the Barcelona star to overcome off-the-field tax issues he currently faces.

Dunga announced his squad for Brazil's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Uruguay on Thursday, with current captain Neymar again headlining the list.

At just 24, the Barcelona star has earned both the captain's armband and Brazil's iconic No. 10 shirt, and has already made 69 appearances for his country, scoring 46 goals.

Pele, Zico and Falcao were not only three of Brazil's greatest-ever talents, but, like Neymar, were also leaders of their generations both on and off the pitch.

At just 24, Neymar has already risen to the role of Brazil's captain.

"His responsibility? It's the same as Pele, Zico, Falcao," the Brazil coach told reporters on Thursday.

"They had players who could share the responsibility, but all of us in the football world would say that he has the most responsibility."

For Neymar, however, those off-field responsibilities include tax evasion charges in Spain and Brazil -- problems which Dunga says have had a trickle down effect on the manager and the team.

"Despite his young age, he has great, great experience. As coach of Brazil, I have my own problems, I can understand. I understand [the authorities] have to do their job, I understand perfectly.

"I only know one thing -- whenever he comes to the Brazilian Selecao, there is a problem.

"I never want to interfere but as a coach, I want all the players to come here with their situation calm."


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