The Brazilian media is in two minds over Neymar – selfish or selfless. Our man in Saint Petersburg takes the temperature ahead of the Costa Rica clash 


Kashinath Bhattacharjee, Saint Petersburg

The Brazilian media is divided into two.

One side claims that Neymar is selfish. The prince of PSG should be told to play more for the team rather than for himself. The other feels that Neymar is being sacrificed for the World Cup. Had it not been for Russia 2018, Neymar would not have been risked by the Brazilian team management so soon after that serious foot injury he suffered in February.

The most interesting part, though, is that Adenor Leonardo Bacchi thinks both sides are wrong.

For the 57-year-old coach of the Selecao, Neymar is an integral part who adds value to the team game and he would definitely have played Neymar even if it was not the World Cup.

Tite was particularly unhappy with the journalist who suggested he should have a chat with Neymar regarding his selfishness.

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Strongly denying what the journalist opined, Tite said, “that is your opinion, not mine. All the players have a responsibility of playing for the team and also being individuals with their own specific characteristics. Neymar is a genius. I am not going to take away from Neymar what he has been doing in the last third of the pitch. He creates more goal-scoring chances and that helps the team.”

A draw against Switzerland had already created much furore among the large contingent of the Brazilian media present in Russia. It was evident when more questions were asked about Neymar and his role in Brazil’s team game rather than the thoughts of Brazilian team management about their opponent, Costa Rica, in Saint Petersburg on Friday.

Tite sounded confident when he announced that the same eleven players would start the game against Costa Rica. And he made it clear that he wants his team to play well and be the deserving winner rather than arguing over VAR.

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Obviously a win is needed for Brazil to stay in contention for a place in the second round. They have one point from the only match they have played against Switzerland and they will have to play Serbia in the last match of the group in Moscow on June 27. In that time, Serbia could well have qualified for the second round by beating Switzerland.

There are more concerns ever since Mexico beat the defending champions Germany in their first match. The winners and runners up from Brazil’s group will likely face either Mexico or Germany. If Mexico finishes first and Germany ensure their progress as the second team from their group, the winner of one group will play against the runner-up and vice versa.

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Football lovers of the world do not want to see Brazil and Germany compete against each other in the round of 16. However, there is a distinct possibility after Germany’s defeat. A winless second game in the group stage for both the teams in the World Cup could be a bigger shock for football fans of both countries.

Although this possibility should not have its effect on the teams’ performances in group stage matches since both sides need a win in their next games to have a chance to go through.


Needless to say, if that happens, it will surely be the biggest match of Russia 2018.

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