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Neymar believes critics of his Brazil theatrics are trying to 'undermine' him

04 July, 2018, 00:15 | Author: Delia Walker
  • Thiago Silva celebrates with Neymar after scoring during the match

For Mexico, the defeat is no doubt a big disappointment for a talented group of players and millions of fans around the country who, after a promising start to the tournament, had dared to dream that El Tri could go farther in Russian Federation 2018 than the team had ever gone before.

Neymar, who was given the lowest score by users of the BBC Player Rater, said the Brazilian players "have to learn to suffer".

Rafa Marquez made history before kick-off in the round of 16 fixture, becoming the first outfield player to be included in the starting lineup at five World Cups, before he was substituted at half time. In a breathless opening here at the Samara Arena on Monday, they had looked quite capable of doing that but then Neymar turned on the style and Brazil coasted past them 2-0, leaving the Mexicans to contemplate a familiar failure. "Some goal celebration that would be against them", one fan wrote.

Rafael Marquez made his 148th cap for Mexico at his fifth World Cup.

Layun became frustrated by Neymar's brilliance, even deliberately stepping on the superstar's ankle off the ball, but fortunately escaped punishment.

With that, Mexico exits the World Cup at an all too familiar stage and will have to wait another four years until Qatar 2022 to have another shot at World Cup glory. The world's most expensive player has 11 goals and nine assists in his last 19 games for Brazil.

Japan has now lost in the round of 16 three times and has never reached the World Cup quarterfinals. "It's obvious", Layun said. They caused problems for Brazil, too, initially. "This is a strong sport, a man's sport and I think there shouldn't be so much acting".




Despite the goal, Neymar still continued to play the victim card, with his cartoonish reaction to Miguel Layun's errant stud proving to be a real highlight of the second half...

During the win over Costa Rica in the group stage, Neymar tried to win a penalty by flopping to the ground in the area.

Neymar broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half when he finished off a fine team move-that he himself started-from close range.

Neymar, though, still led the celebrations, charging toward the corner flag.

Neymar went on to add that he's sole focus is helping the Selecao lift their record sixth World title.

When teams like Germany, Spain, Portugal and Argentina don't play their best football and fail to make it past the Round of 16, the question that comes to mind is what exactly are Brazil doing right in Russian Federation? "We were maybe not very efficient and we didn't have that extra quality that they had coming to our goal".

Brazil are next in action in Friday's quarter-final against Belgium.

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