Moscow, June 20: Former France captain and 1998 FIFA World Cup winner Marcel Desailly has accused Brazil star Neymar of playing for himself to the detriment of his team.
Neymar failed to impress in Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland in their World Cup opener on Sunday, having seemingly been targeted for rough treatment by the European team. The 10 fouls he suffered was the most for any player in a World Cup match since Alan Shearer in 1998, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We saw Brazil were in difficulty in their draw against Switzerland,” said Desailly in an article for the Guardian. “They have this great capacity for dribbling, of course, it’s in their blood, but there was too much individual play and not enough for the team.”
Desailly, who played in Les Bleus’ 3-0 victory over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final, said Neymar was responsible for stalling Brazil’s movement against the Swiss, making them predictable and easy to close down.
“Neymar gave off the impression he was playing by himself,” the former center-back and defensive midfielder added. “Whenever the ball came to him he slowed the game down, irrespective of whether it was the right thing to do or not. Because he knows he has the talent to change games, you get the impression Neymar wants to be the one to do that something special.
“But he has to understand that it’s not like that at international level. He might be the greatest player but you have to think of the collective.
“You have to think of your teammates and play with them, using one-twos and triangles to move forward and make those differences. The one time he did that, down the left with Marcelo and Coutinho, brought about Brazil’s goal. But that was not enough.” (IANS)