Saturday, December 16, 2017

Brazil are Neymar-centric, says Scolari

SoccerNews in World Cup 7 Jun 2014


Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said his side rely too much on star forward Neymar, ahead of their FIFA World Cup opener.

Scolari’s men scraped past Serbia 1-0 in Sao Paulo on Friday, courtesy of Fred’s 58th-minute goal.

The host nation’s fans were unimpressed by the showing, venting their displeasure at the final whistle at the Estadio Cicero Pompeu de Toledo.

Scolari conceded the Barcelona forward was a barometer for the side.

“Yes, we do,” Scolari replied, when asked if his side leans on Neymar too much.

“As Portugal needs Cristiano Ronaldo or Argentina relies on (Lionel) Messi as well.

“We need Neymar as every team that has good players that attract opponents, needs as well.

“Our duty is to find solutions in the field when Neymar is facing too many opponents on him.”

Scolari was unflustered by the negative response from the Brazilian fans, in their final warm-up match ahead of their tournament opener against Croatia on Thursday.

“I believe it’s normal. This is normal when we are not performing well. They booed us in Goiania as well,” Scolari said.

“They (the players) are prepared for that. They know that when we are not playing well the fans will be upset.

“But in the end I believe that the majority of 67,000 who were here left the stadium happy with the result.

“So we must thank the fans because they were patient and helped us to achieve this win.”

Midfielder Oscar, who played the first half against the Serbians before being withdrawn for Willian, said the clash was an ideal preparation for their date with Croatia.

“We knew it was going to be tough, but it was good to face a tough opponent,” the Chelsea man said.

“They are very strong in the back. It was a tough match but we won it and that’s what we want during the World Cup.

“I’m not worried about the critics. Obviously the press keep saying things like that and the fans listen to you.

“But I am very calm. I played well in Goiania. Today was hard for everyone. No-one played well during the first half.

“Obviously you know my potential so there is more criticism.”


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