Brazil star Ronaldo said that everyone in Brazil and all the Selecao fans expected more from Neymar in this World Cup after Brazil’s 2-1 defeat to Belgium in the quarter-final of the tournament that ensured the Selecao’s elimination from the showpiece event.
Neymar recovered from a three-month long injury to play in the World Cup for his country and like always the whole nation pinned their hopes on the star forward to carry the team to ultimate glory in Russia.
Neymar who was heavily criticized during the World Cup games for a string of exaggerated reactions when clashing with an opponent, scored two goals and also provided one assist in the tournament but failed to carry his team to the ultimate glory in Russia.
After Brazil’s elimination from the World Cup, Ronaldo talked about Neymar’s performance in this World Cup and told Sport TV that the entire nation had high-hopes regarding the 26-year old ace forward as he is Selecao’s best player.
“We all expected more from him because he's the star of the team. I don't know if it was because of the operation he had on his foot or another problem but I saw him as quite limited on the pitch,” said Ronaldo to Sport TV.
Ronaldo also said that he realized it was difficult for Neymar to perform in the World Cup after recovering from a long injury.
“To arrive at a World Cup following an operation and three months out is complicated. To play the first match as if nothing had happened is difficult.
“He needs to learn from this World Cup. He's 25 or 26. He's young, talented and there's a lot of responsibility on his shoulders.” Ronaldo added.
In regards to Neymar’s tendency to go to the ground when he's fouled, Ronaldo was more forgiving. “I spoke with him about this a while ago. Five years ago I asked him why he did it and he told me it was so the person fouling him couldn't do more damage.” When asked about the memes surrounding Neymar’s exaggerated falls, Ronaldo said this is something Neymar will need to learn to live with.
“He needs to learn and control his emotions during matches. He can’t keep giving away fouls and risk picking up a booking. He should use that aggression in better ways on the pitch.” Ronaldo concluded.