Dunga: Neymar likes a challenge

Neymar's form for club and country is not surprising, Brazil coach Dunga said.

Brazil coach Dunga hailed the form of captain Neymar, who will lead the team in friendlies against France and Chile.

Neymar has scored 26 goals in all competitions for Barcelona this term, with the Catalan club still on track for a trophy treble in 2014-15.

The striker's personal fortunes at club level have reflected his nation's rebound from the calamitous end to their hosting of the 2014 World Cup - which saw them concede 10 goals in their final two matches.

Brazil have reeled off six straight friendly wins since, and have not conceded from open play in that stretch - with Dunga reforming the side, after taking over from Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Dunga said Neymar's form - he has also scored seven international goals since the World Cup - has been pivotal to their turnaround, and he is pleased that has continued at club level in La Liga.

"Well, as our captain I wouldn't say that [Neymar's form] is a surprise," Dunga said, after announcing his squad for the March friendlies.

"But the numbers are there to show us that the moment he became the captain of the Brazilian squad, he had an upgrade [in form] and this confirmed our expectations which we have for this player, in which we've spoken about amongst the technical commission, with the directors and the president of the CBF [Brazilian Football Confederation]. 

"He's a player that likes a challenge. The bigger the responsibility, he'll evolve, and he'll grow."

Dunga said he was wary of Brazil leaning too much on the 23-year-old, with the country's World Cup campaign faltering after Neymar was sidelined by a back fracture.

"What we've seen is that every time Brazil has been a World Cup champion, we've had a strong team," Dunga added. 

"And of course, there were some good individuals, like in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002. We hope that individualism doesn't solve this problem. 

"We work together as a team. And naturally, we do have some good individuals. Why do I say this? Because all the players that play on the Brazilian squad are good. 

"He [Neymar] does something different. So he has to have that here and show it. He has to have a good attitude and make decisions. 

"And what we are trying to do on the Brazilian squad, together with the CBF, is also give value to our idols from the past, and use them as an example for our football."

Brazil takes on France in Paris on March 26, before a neutral friendly against Chile in London three days later.