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Marcelo downplays Neymar absence

There are enough players of sufficient quality in the Brazil squad to ensure Neymar’s absence is not sorely felt, according to Marcelo.

Dunga’s men suffered defeat in their opening match of the World Cup qualification process, going down 2-0 to reigning Copa America champions Chile.

Neymar was absent for Brazil – who have also had Marcelo Grohe and David Luiz withdraw from the squad through injury – due to a suspension which also rules him out of Tuesday’s clash with Venezuela.

However, the Real Madrid left-back opined that the squad have enough depth to cover for the loss of their captain.

“Neymar helps a lot, of course we miss him, but there are others who can play in his place and help the team,” Marcelo said in a press conference.

Since Dunga retook the helm, Brazil have defeated both Chile and Colombia in friendly clashes but lost meetings with the two nations in competitive fixtures.

Marcelo was at a loss when asked why he thought this was the case, but insisted it is not a hangover remaining from their 7-1 semi-final humiliation at the hands of Germany at World Cup 2014.

“I do not know what happens. We go to every game as if it were a final. We always want to win, whether it’s a friendly or not,” he added.

“Of course, we will see what went wrong and go over it. We have a great desire to give joy to the Brazilian public.

“I do not think it’s something psychological because of what happened at the World Cup.

“We do not have much time to work in the national team, but it’s no excuse.”

But the 27-year-old is not worried about a possible negative reception at the Castelao, assuring that the players are only focused on picking up their first points of the campaign.

“I cannot say if they are going to stop supporting us. When we arrived in Fortaleza, everyone received us well,” Marcelo said.

“The atmosphere is great and we will do everything to win.

“We are not concerned with the boos or applause – we have to do our job and win. The crowd is with us, they want to see Brazil win.”

Sun 11 Oct, 2015
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