Neymar: I will continue to party

by
Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports

Neymar urged reporters to judge his exploits on the pitch rather than off it after the Barcelona star's party lifestyle has been the subject of media scrutiny.

The Brazilian opted to sit out his country's Copa America Centenario campaign to ensure his availability for the Rio 2016 Olympics, but then proceeded to enjoy himself in the United States with the likes of pop star Justin Bieber, actor Jamie Foxx, and Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton.

@neymarjr and I messin around in my backyard

A video posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

The forward has vowed to let his feet do the talking, rather than the countless paparazzi accounts of his movements.

"You have to look at the things that I do on the pitch. Anything else is private," Neymar told reporters. "When I'm off the pitch, that's my private life. You have to judge me on the pitch. I have no problem talking about cards or sendings-off, but I have a private life. I'm 24 years old."

So, with Brazil's quest for gold on home soil beginning in Brasilia against South Africa on Aug. 4, images of Neymar cavorting around with a bottle of booze in his hand may not be over.

"I like to go out and have fun with my friends. I have family too so why can't I go out to clubs? I can and I will. I am well aware what my duties are the next day. I am going to keep going out and I don't see anything wrong with that."

He added: "Imagine you're 24 years old, earning what I earn and having all that I have. Wouldn't you be the same as me?"

The final of the men's Olympic soccer is Aug. 20, meaning Neymar could be out of Barcelona contention until a trip to Athletic Bilbao eight days later.