Samara, July 3: Brazil coach Tite refused to criticise striker Neymar after an incident in which the Brazil striker appeared to once again be guilty of over-reacting following a possible incident on the touchline in the second half of Brazil’s 2-0 win over Mexico to book their place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
Neymar needed four minutes treatment after clutching his shin following a possible aggression by Mexican substitute Miguel Layun although TV replays show that any contact, if I existed was extremely slight.
“I saw what happened, everyone who is watching, and you can see the image,” said Tite, before praising the forward, who scored the opening goal in their 2-0 win over Mexico.
“Neymar was out of action for three and a half months, that is a lot at the top level. A top-level player needs 4 or 5 matches to recover, he played well in the last game and today he repeated his excellence,” he said.
Neymar was also asked about the incident but preferred not to discuss it saying he felt accusations of play-acting were “an attempt to undermine me.”
“I don’t care about criticism or praise, because that can influence your attitude. I haven’t talked to the press, because I don’t want controversy,” he said in the post-game press conference.
Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio had earlier slammed Neymar for his attitude, although he refused to name him specifically. IANS