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05th Mar 2019

Neymar said that there was “exaggerated blame” placed on him at the World Cup

Jack O'Toole

Brazilian forward Neymar has said that there was exaggerated blame placed on him at last year’s FIFA World Cup.

Neymar received heavy criticism for his theatrics at the finals in Russia with RTS Sport claiming that he spent 14 minutes on the ground throughout the tournament.

He was on the floor so much that the PSG striker says even began to wonder if his critics were right – but instead came to the conclusion that he had received an “exaggerated” amount of blame for Brazil’s exit.

“I started to see all of my pieces of play in the World Cup and I thought ‘could it be that I really am diving?’,” he told Globo.

“I think there was an exaggerated blame placed on me. But I knew to expect that, as it’s always been like this over the course of my career, no?

“I know that when Brazil loses, most of the weight will fall on my back.”

Brazil were knocked by Belgium out in the quarterfinals of last summer’s tournament, with a Kevin De Bruyne strike and Fernandinho own goal being enough to best them.

Neymar previously addressed his antics in a Gillette advert after the World Cup in which he claimed that all of Brazil stood with him.

“You may think I exaggerate. And sometimes I do exaggerate. But the truth is I suffer on the pitch. You may think I fall too much, but the truth is I did not fall. I fell apart.”

Referring to Brazil’s defeat at the hands of Belgium, he added: “That hurts more than any step on an operated ankle.

“You can keep casting stones. Or throw these stones away and help me stand. When I stand, all of Brazil stands with me.”