Brazil head coach Tite insists too much is expected of Neymar after the superstar forward came in for more criticism following his below-par display against Colombia.
The Selecao’s run of nine straight victories in their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign was ended in a stalemate at Estadio Metropolitano on Sunday.
Neymar played the full 90 minutes in Barranquilla but struggled to make an impact in a game of few clear-cut opportunities.
He misplaced 15 passes against Colombia – his highest tally in a game this qualifying campaign – but Tite defended the 29-year-old after the match.
“Neymar was good and so were the whole team,” Tite said at his post-match news conference.
“Maybe he’s expected to do exceptional things all the time and make a difference all the time.
“He’s an exceptional player because he produces exceptional moments, but not all the time. He’s a different player, we know that.
“But today he was very well-marked, sometimes with two players on him.”
Neymar’s underwhelming performance came on the day in which he revealed the next World Cup could be his third and final one for Brazil.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward has scored 69 goals in 114 caps for Brazil since making his senior debut against the United States in August 2010.
Only Pele (77) has found the net on more occasions for the Selecao, while his cap tally is only bettered by Cafu (142), Roberto Carlos (125) and Dani Alves (119).
Neymar has also endured a largely disappointing campaign at club level, having registered just one goal and two assists in seven games for PSG in all competitions.
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