Roberto Rivelino calls Neymar an ‘idiot’ for off-field antics

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Had it been down to Neymar, he probably would have been more than happy to represent Brazil at both the Copa America and the Olympics this summer.

However, Barcelona were never going to allow that to happen and subsequently struck a deal with the Brazilian Football Confederation which ensured he could only play in one or the other.

Neymar chose the Olympics - Brazil are desperate to win the gold medal for the first time in their history, particularly with this summer’s games being hosted on home soil - but the Seleção, meanwhile, were knocked out of the Copa America in the group stages earlier this week.


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Following the national team’s humiliating exit, which resulted in the sacking of head coach Dunga, Neymar posted a controversial message on Instagram.

He backed his teammates by writing: "No one knows what we have suffered through to be there and defend the Seleção.

“To wear the national team shirt is an honor and you have all done that with love. Now a whole lot of people are going to start talking s---, they can go to hell. Football is like this. I am Brazilian and I will go to the end with you."

Neymar apologised for outburst

A couple of days later and Neymar issued a public apology for his emotional outburst.

"My five minutes in Brazil were enough to realize that my post/outflow on Instagram had a negative repercussion, huge around here," the Barcelona superstar was quoted as saying by ESPN. "What I've heard from people who met me at the airport was that I had "exceeded" myself...I admit...Yes, I overreacted.

"Apologies to all of those who felt offended, it's the least I can do. I wrote all of that after the end of the match against Peru and got really upset with the elimination and angry with the words I had heard and read towards those athletes. After all, I'm part of that group.

"There is a small portion that also overreacts with the microphone or a pen in hands, but like I said, a small portion. I aimed at a dozen and hit thousands, millions."

Rivelinho: Neymar is an "idiot"

However, his apology hasn’t prevented him from being slammed by Brazil legend Roberto Rivelino, who has described the world-class forward as “an idiot”.

"He's a public figure, an idol, and I think it would've been better [for him] to shut up," Rivelino was quoted as saying by Catalan newspaper Sport. "He lost a good opportunity to be quiet.

"It's something that will mark his career, it's not good for him. He's an excellent player but I think his concern is to be on the pitch.

"It seems that sometimes he gives more importance to what happens off the field - that's worrying and cannot be forgiven."

Rivelino then added: "He's the biggest fool of this story.

"He hasn't won anything [for Brazil], he hasn't given joy to the people and should talk less. First make history, try to give Brazil a title and then you can complain."


Considering Neymar has scored 46 goals in 70 appearances for Brazil and was told he wouldn’t be allowed to play in the Copa America, that’s perhaps a little unfair from Rivelino.

Does Neymar need to improve his behaviour off the pitch? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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