Brazil 2014 could be ‘Neymar’s World Cup’, according to his national team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
The 22-year-old Barcelona attacker has been below his best for the La Liga giants, but did net a crucial equaliser in his side’s 1-1 draw at home to Atletico Madrid in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.
Scolari watched on from the stands at Camp Nou, and warned rivals the World Cup could be a tournament Neymar dominates.
“I came to watch him (Neymar) and Dani Alves, Filipe Luis, Adriano,” Scolari told reporters.
“This can be Neymar’s World Cup, we can be sure of that.”
Scolari defended Neymar, who has been criticised by the Spanish press having netted nine goals in 23 league matches this campaign.
“He hasn’t shone at Barca because they play differently. He’s better when he has space but they have him playing on the right,” Scolari said.
“The Spanish press has one opinion about Neymar and the Brazilian press has another.
“For the national team he’s a special player and plays in a different way to how he does here.”