Brazil superstar Neymar has been accused of diving and trying to fool referees by Uruguay captain Diego Lugano ahead of the teams’ clash on Wednesday night.
Neymar has been impressive in the Confederations Cup so far, scoring in every game for the hosts, but Lugano believes his impact on matches in enhanced by his ability to deceive referees.
“Neymar can feign a foul, so we must be watchful nobody is fooled," Lugano is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
“He is very apt at pretending to be fouled and is very lightweight, so he can drop to the ground and fool the referees and the rivals.”
Lugano didn’t stop at calling Neymar a cheat, he also went on to criticise Brazilian football as a whole for losing its soul.
‘Jogo Bonito’ – the beautiful game – is famously described as being the essence of the football played in, and by, Brazil.
However, the Paris Saint-Germain centre-back believes the most successful nation in international football has lost this essence.
"Brazil is a team that has abandoned 'jogo bonito' - they are hitting hard and tough physically," he added.
"I have played in Brazil and Brazilian football is physically very tough, perhaps the toughest football in South America - more than we understand."
These comments will add extra spice to a game that really didn’t need it, as Brazil and Uruguay have a long-standing rivalry that dates back to the 1950 World Cup.
Brazil were overwhelming favourites in the final at the Maracana that year, but Uruguay turned up to spoil the party and win 2-1.
Brazil and their fans have been desperate for revenge ever since and many have called for Neymar to lead a humiliation of the Uruguayan team in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday night.
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