TERESOPOLIS, Brazil (AP) — Neymar feels he has nothing to worry about at the World Cup.
He is playing in the biggest tournament of his life the same way he played in tournaments in Brazil when he was a teenager. And it's a simple secret that keeps him at ease no matter the stage: He just reminds himself how lucky he is.
Neymar knows he is carrying the hopes of the entire host nation at the World Cup, but says he is not letting that get into his head.
"There is no pressure when you are living your dream," the 22-year-old Brazil and Barcelona star said. "I'm doing what I've always wanted to do since I was a little kid. Today my dream is coming true, I'm playing the matches that I've always wanted to be playing."
He said he knows it's "an honor" to be where he is, and that he is aware that millions of Brazilians would do anything to be in his shoes.
In just his first World Cup, Neymar is already playing well enough to show why Brazilians consider him one of the country's best players of all time.
He leads the tournament with four goals in three matches, and already has scored more World Cup goals than Cristiano Ronaldo, who won the FIFA Ballon d'Or award this year. The Portugal striker has scored two goals in 12 World Cup matches dating back to his debut in 2006.
Neymar also had netted more goals than Lionel Messi before the Argentina striker struck twice on Wednesday to take his tally to five goals in 11 matches in the sport's showcase event, also dating back to 2006.
Pele scored four goals in his first three World Cup matches in 1958.
"People talk about Neymar having a chance to be the best in the world, but that will be a consequence of what he does for Brazil," coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "It's something that will likely come naturally."
The day before the opening match, Neymar said he only has one goal at this World Cup.
"I don't want to be the best player, I don't want to be the top scorer," he said. "All I want is to win the World Cup title. It's what I always dreamed about. It doesn't matter how it happens, I just want to win the title."