Roberto Carlos has given his honest opinion about Neymar's antics vs Costa Rica

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Neymar's performance against Costa Rica will be remembered more for some of his controversial behaviour than for his stoppage-time goal.

The Brazilian thought he'd won a penalty in the second half, only for VAR to declare he had dived and reverse the decision.

There were confrontations with the referee throughout, including in the tunnel at half-time, and he was seen yelling "don't touch me!" at the official later on.

Many were even frustrated with his showboating once the Selecao had gone 2-0 up, with it being suggested that he was disrespecting his opponents after what, in truth, was a hard-fought victory.

At the end of it all, he fell to the turf and was seen crying. Modern football, eh?

In spite of all this, Neymar undoubtedly has the potential to lead his country to glory in Russia and former Brazil left-back Roberto Carlos has backed him to do just that.

"Countless fouls, two haircuts, some penalty drama, an injury scare and even a few tears... it has been dramatic, even by his standards," Carlos writes in the Mirror.

"But while questions are being asked of Brazil’s talisman, I’m still confident he’s going to fire us to glory this summer.

Neymar doesn't look fully fit 

"He’s not at top speed yet – you can see that he’s clearly still trying to forget about the pain he’s had in his foot over the last few months.

"But he’s getting there, ­building up his fitness. We’re going to see him at his best when the knockout stages get underway."

Having missed the last seven games of PSG's season, it's easy to forget that the £222million man might still be feeling some discomfort.

Yet, he's had little sympathy from football fans around the world because of his behaviour.


Carlos is a little more understanding of how he acted against Switzerland and Costa Rica, but he has also issued the ex-Barcelona forward with a warning about his discipline.

"I can understand why he gets annoyed with referees," he added.

"He got kicked around in both games, but the ref in the Costa Rica match kept telling him off, saying he was diving. But I’d tell him to stay a bit more calm in those ­situations.

"He can be this World Cup’s best player and we don’t need him getting sent off. Some people were wondering why he was crying after the final whistle, but I don’t have a problem with that.

"He was out of action for three months and needed to get some of the emotion out after scoring.

"You have to remember that he’s still young at just 26, and he’s under huge pressure.

"But I’m not worried about him – he’s a great professional and will prove that in the weeks ahead."

This is the frustrating reality about Neymar. As frustrating as he can be to watch, his abilities should never be discounted and his antics will soon be forgotten if he helps Brazil to the Jules Rimet.

What do you make of Neymar's World Cup so far? Have your say in the comments. 

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