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22nd Jun 2018

Neymar could be in trouble for approaching Brazil’s match referee at half-time

Patrick McCarry

Neymar is trying his damnedest to get Brazil firing in Russia

Only Pelé and Ronaldo (Luís Nazário de Lima) have scored more goals for their country than Neymar and the PSG star has several goal-scoring years ahead of him.

Having just about regained fitness for the World Cup, the 26-year-old came in for some rough treatment in his side’s draw with Switzerland.

Costa Rica knew he was the man to watch like a hawk and kick like an old dog during their Group E encounter. He was fouled five times in the first half and went tumbling in the box on a couple of occasions after the break.

As frustrated as Neymar was, he was out of line on a couple of occasions as he barracked referee Björn Kuipers, called fouls on himself and hacked at a couple of opposition players in frustration.

Feeling, perhaps, that he was being targeted, Neymar then attempted to approach Kuipers in the tunnel at half-time. He shouted after the Dutch ref and had to be restrained by Marcelo. For those actions, he could find himself in trouble.

After the break, Kuipers clearly had enough and told the complaining Neymar to button it:

Watching football fans loved how Kuipers was taking little flak from the Brazilian superstar.

Neymar went close with an ambitious, curling effort and Gabriel Jesu hit the bar with a header but Brazil looked to get a break break in the 78th minute when Kuipers awarded a soft penalty. The victim? Neymar.

Giancarlo Gonzalez did make an attempt to impede the forward but the former Barcelona star completely over-sold it.

Kuipers awarded the penalty but, upon VAR review, reversed his call.

Neymar was absolutely furious and was booked for dissent – slamming his fist into the ball right in front of the referee – soon after. Kuipers booked Philippe Coutinho for dissent at the same time.

It was Coutinho that clinched the win for Brazil, though, by poking in a breaking ball from six yards out in injury time.

Still, Kuipers may want to avoid Brazil on his next holiday.