Gabriel Jesus is relishing the opportunity to captain Brazil in their World Cup warm-up fixture against Croatia, with superstar team-mate Neymar set to return.
Manchester City striker Jesus, 21, will wear the captain’s armband when Brazil face Croatia in an international friendly at Anfield on Sunday.
Brazil head coach Tite has rotated the captaincy since taking over in 2016 and Jesus is the latest player set to lead the South American giants.
Speaking ahead of the clash on Merseyside – where Neymar will play a part in his return from foot surgery – Jesus told reporters: “I was surprised that I was selected to be the captain, but I accepted it normally. A lot of responsibility.”
The 21-year-old, who helped record-breaking City win the Premier League in 2017-18, added: “Danilo joked with me about being the captain, and I said that if he does not cross the ball well, I’ll call his attention. But it’s a joke.
“I have the opportunity to wear the jersey of the national team, and the coach makes it clear that on the field I will be a leader.
“Tomorrow [Sunday] I will represent my country as captain. I have to take this responsibility, it is not easy, but I have to take it.”
On wearing the number nine jersey, Jesus said: “I didn’t even expect to be a football player one day, it was just a dream. And the number nine shirt is the same, I always dreamed about it, and went after it.
“I have the opportunity to wear the number nine that was from many players who made history with the ‘Selecao’, and I intend to follow the same path.”
Brazil have been drawn in Group E alongside Switzerland (June 17), Costa Rica (June 22) and Serbia (June 27) for the World Cup.
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