Renato Augusto: I’ve always been a crybaby

Renato Augusto has described himself as a crybaby and hailed Neymar as “an extraterrestrial”. The 28-year-old was witnessed weeping as the national anthem played during Brazil’s triumphant Men’s Olympic Football Tournament campaign in August – and he’s not in denial.

“I don’t choose to cry,” Renato explained to Globo. “I’ve always been a crybaby – I’m so emotional. I don’t care. I cried during the national anthem. When it finished I was crying. I cried two days later, and if I keep talking I’ll cry again! What I feel, I cry.”

That competition ended with Brazil finally winning Olympic gold – a conquest indebted to Neymar. Renato Augusto believes the 24-year-old can reach the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I think he can,” he said. “Neymar is an ET. He has such a good head on him. Put yourself in the place of this madman and 95 per cent of the population wouldn’t . He’s been Neymar since he was 18 years old.

“For me it’s difficult to say who’s the best . I think Neymar’s closing in on them little by little. I think he’s gone up another level – he’s closer to them this year than he was last.”

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An extra special *Superclásico***

Brazil host fierce rivals Argentina on Thursday in 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying. A Seleção head the South American standings, with La Albiceleste five points back in sixth. Renato Augusto rose from the bench to help Brazil claim a 1-1 draw at the Monumental in the sides’ first meeting of the campaign one year ago.

“This match will be more special than the one we played in Buenos Aires,” said the former Bayer Leverkusen player. Because of our run of successive victories, because of the uncertainty that surrounds Argentina, because of Messi and Neymar. All this further enhances the game.”