Neymar has repudiated the scathing comments his agent made about Brazilian national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari in the wake of the squad’s 7-1 defeat in this week’s World Cup semifinal against Germany.
The striker, sidelined from the competition after suffering a back injury in last Friday’s quarterfinal with Colombia, rejoined the team Thursday at its training facility in Teresopolis.
On Wednesday, the star’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro, unleashed a tirade against Scolari, calling him an “arrogant and ridiculous old fool.”
Scolari, 65, was at the helm for the fifth and most-recent of Brazil’s World Cup triumphs, in 2002. His record since then, including stints with the Portuguese national team and several top clubs before coming back to coach the Brazilian side, has been uneven.
“What comes out of Wagner’s mouth is his attitude. I have a very great affection for him, but I’m not in agreement, I don’t accept that attitude, I don’t accept what he says,” Neymar told a press conference.
Asked whether Scolari should be replaced, the 22-year-old FC Barcelona striker said it is a mistake to fire the coach when something goes wrong.
“We Brazilians, mainly the press, have the mistaken habit of when we lose, there has to be a change, of the coach and the players,” Neymar said. “That’s not how it is in soccer.”