Cafu backs Neymar to come back stronger following World Cup disappointment as he hails the ‘greatest revelation in the last 10 years’
- Neymar couldn’t fire as Brazil were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Belgium
- Two-time World Cup-winner Cafu expects Neymar to bounce back
- But Cafu is more critical of Brazil coach Tite and Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus
The Paris Saint-Germain striker, 26, failed to hit top form as Brazil exited the World Cup after losing 2-1 to Belgium in the quarter-finals.
Scoring just twice in five appearances, he was also the focus of much criticism following a number of theatrical reactions to challenges.
Neymar was dejected after Brazil were knocked out by Belgium in the World Cup quarter-finals
Cafu – who lifted the World Cup in 1994 and 2002 – is confident Neymar can bounce back
Yet Brazil’s legendary defender believes that Neymar has what it takes to silence his critics and move forward.
‘Neymar is an ace and we expect him to do different things on the pitch,’ Cafu told Globo Esporte.
‘This is normal. It’s obvious that criticism is going to fall on Neymar because of what happened. Were Neymar’s performance what we expected? No. They were a little below, because from an ace people always expect something different.
Neymar on the floor during Brazil’s World Cup campaign became a familiar sight
‘We have a great player. He is our greatest revelation in the last 10 years, one of the greatest Brazilian players of recent times. The World Cup is unforgiving.
‘We want to see Neymar happy, happy, happy because it is good for him and for Brazilian football. He’s a smart boy.
‘He knows what he did at the World Cup, what he can do better and how to move forward.’
Brazil coach Tite (left) has come under criticism from Cafu who feels there is much work ahead
Cafu was more concerned about the on-pitch performance of Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus and the off-pitch management style of coach, Tite.
He added: ‘Although he only made a mistake for 30 minutes, he made a mistake. This is fatal in the World Cup, it can result in elimination and put the work in doubt.
‘But if Tite continues, we’ll support him. There’s a lot of work ahead.’
With regard to Jesus’ World Cup performance, Cafu said: ‘The striker is known for scoring goals. Tactically, Gabriel Jesus was fantastic for Brazil. That is not disputed.
‘But unfortunately he went blank at the World Cup, and when the strike doesn’t score goals he is criticised.’
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.