Neymar unfazed by critics after sweet and sour display downs Mexico

Heather Diaz
July 4, 2018

The Albiceleste are now out, of course, courtesy of a 4-3 defeat to France, but the 1986 World Cup victor has weighed in with his opinion on Neymar's behaviour.

Asked by Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker if Neymar's reaction was over the top during the BBC's post-match coverage, Shearer said: "Over the top?"

"I don't care much for criticism, or praise, because this can influence your attitude", Neymar told TV Globo. Perhaps he might have grown up a little by then.

The Mexico substitute did appear to make contact with Neymar's leg as he retrieved the ball on the sideline, but the incident hardly seemed worthy of the histrionics that followed, and referee Gianluca Rocchi was not convinced to brandish a card.

Neymar certainly showed that edge at the Samara Arena on Monday.

The result was settled when Layun lost possession in the dying minutes.

The Brazil superstar's form and perceived penchant for theatrics have been roundly criticised at this tournament, including by Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio after their match.

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Argentina lost to France in a seven-goal thriller which saw 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe score a brace in the match as it ended 4-3. He did not train on Tuesday. "It's not the time to talk about the future when it comes to the players and coach", Ronaldo added.

The world's most expensive player broke the deadlock for the Selecao in the 51st minute, with Roberto Firmino putting the game to bed with two minutes of normal time remaining. Alongside those rapid sorties came more considered touches and the back-heel with which he released Willian before the opening goal, a constructive move rather than an extravagance, was indicative of a player thinking about consequences rather than simply revelling in actions.

Brazil manager Tite believed Neymar was treated unfairly, stating: "I saw what happened". That is stretching the point, in truth: Mexico's early vim had long since faded by the time the handbags started and their coach surely knows better than to deflect from a performance that faded sharply.

"Neymar was out for three-and-a-half months. It's obvious", Layun said.

Neymar would be a better player "if he dedicated himself more to playing football", according to Mexico's Miguel Layun.

"There was a situation where there was a four-minute stoppage and that's a poor example for the world of football and all the children".

"Is it a sin to dribble in the final third?" He is making himself an increasingly hard player to love. It is the truest thing he could have said and, you suspect, something of which he may yet remind his prodigy before the next stage of his quest for the World Cup trophy he craves.

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