‘I won’t stand for it!’ – Neymar fed up of ‘diver’ tag
Neymar criticised referee Jair Marrufo after receiving what he felt was an “unnecessary” booking for simulation during his side’s 5-0 win over El Salvador. The Paris Saint-Germain forward saw yellow just before half-time at FedExField in Washington after failing to convince the official he had been fouled inside the penalty area.
While he did not complain at the time, the Brazil captain aired his views after the friendly fixture, declaring American Marrufo had made an incorrect call in showing a card, rather than his decision not to give a foul. It is not the first time Neymar’s on-field antics have caused controversy; the 26-year-old was condemned by some for his theatrical behaviour at times during the World Cup earlier this year.
“I do not know what I have to do to live with it [this reputation], there’s no way I’m going to stand for a situation like this. I think it has to end,” he said, according to Globo Esporte .
“But it’s not up to me, so much that I did not say anything, I went on with my football. It’s a lack of respect, not just with me, but with my team-mates as well.
“Playing with a yellow card is tricky. The guy comes here to officiate a Brazilian national team match, which is a very big selection, and he does that … I don’t think it is correct. If he does not want to give the penalty, it’s not a problem, but the card is unnecessary.”
Neymar did convert a fourth-minute penalty to put Brazil in front against El Salvador following a foul on debutant Richarlison, who went on to score twice in the rout. The one-sided result followed on from a 2-0 triumph over the United States as Brazil look to move on following their disappointing campaign in Russia, where they were knocked out by Belgium in the last eight.
“I’m the type of guy that every time I get the ball, I just look forward,” Neymar told the media. “I just look for something, I try to create something, a chance on goal.
“That’s what I want to pass on to the other players as well. Our team has to play with joy, yes, Tite has said that and I also want to enjoy it, because playing here is difficult. To play for the Brazil national team is a dream of every one of us, so we have to show our affection and love for this.”