Published On: Fri, Jul 6th, 2018

Neymar: Rivaldo delivers verdict on Brazil star’s World Cup theatrics ahead of Belgium tie | Football | Sport

Neymar currently has two goals to his name for Brazil during the tournament and will look to add to his tally when they take on Belgium in the quarter-finals this evening.

However, the Paris Saint-Germain star has come in for criticism for his theatrics.

Neymar has been singled out for some rough treatment by his opponents, but has equally made the most of some hefty challenges.

The forward endured plenty of criticism for his display against Mexico in the last-16 but Brazil legend Rivaldo feels there should be more focus on the officials and not the player.


“There has been so much debate about Neymar simulating fouls or wasting time on the floor, but I think that in a competition like this – with VAR – we shouldn’t be paying too much attention to this,” Betfair ambassador and 2002 World Cup winner, Rivaldo said.

“Perhaps we should be talking about the officials? I’ve seen many referee mistakes during the World Cup, lots of stuff happening that is not being commented on, but still all the focus is on Neymar.

“If the defenders manage to stop Neymar without fouling him then he cannot stay on the floor for too long, but when other players start provoking him he must do his part, which is normal.

“I have no complaints about it – he is playing well, Brazil are winning while other traditionally strong teams have gone home, and the team is scoring at the right time and playing good football – but people insist on focusing on a minor situation that really isn’t so important.”

This will be the fifth meeting between Brazil and Belgium. The first encounter was a friendly in Brussels in 1963 which Belgium won 5-1 but Brazil have won the subsequent three meetings.

Their only previous World Cup encounter was in the round of 16 in 2002. Brazil won 2-0 through second-half goals from Rivaldo and Ronaldo and went on to win the tournament.

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