Ireland coach calls Neymar 'absolutely pathetic' for play-acting during Mexico clash

Ireland coach calls Neymar 'absolutely pathetic' for play-acting during Mexico clash

"I just have to play, help my teammates, help my team".

Brazil forward Neymar is undoubtedly one of the world's most talented footballers, but his tendency towards the dramatic is also hard to ignore.

The 13 players who played on Monday - and became the first side since 1970 to come from 2-0 down to win a World Cup knockout match - included 32-year-old Vincent Kompany and 31-year-olds Dries Mertens and Jan Vertonghen.

For the second match running, Neymar has attracted the ire and ridicule of football supporters on social media for his reactions to tackles and physical intimidation by opposition players.

In contrast, the five-time winners continue to ease through the gears and again did enough to beat Mexico 2-0 without hitting top form thanks to second-half goals from Neymar and Roberto Firmino.

Neymar has had an unspectacular World Cup so far, although by no means unproductive.

Neymar broke the deadlock on 51 minutes by sliding into a low cross.

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While the debate in Mexico tends to center around whether incoming Mexican federation president Yon de Luisa (who has now officially replaced Decio de Maria) will be looking to keep Osorio or not, the Colombian's ambitions may well lie beyond El Tri regardless.

"The KO in the last 16 is another dark chapter in our history", said Spanish sports daily Marca, adding that it was "incredible naivety" to think Lopetegui's abrupt sacking would not affect the team.

Brazil are usually thought of as an attacking team but, in fact, they take very few risks, usually parking three players on the halfway line even when they win a corner, and on Monday they allowed Mexico to enjoy 53 per cent of possession.

Brazil are bidding for a record-extending sixth world title after their semi-final humiliation four years ago against Germany on home soil, but would face a tough test against a talented Belgium outfit should the Red Devils get past Japan.

Brazil has reached that stage at every World Cup since 1994. "I haven't talked to the press, because I don't want controversy", he said in the post-game press conference Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio had earlier slammed Neymar for his attitude, although he refused to name him specifically.

"This is a game of men that is played with intensity and not with so much clowning".

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