Brazil’s prized playmaker Neymar has explained why his national team experienced such a woeful World Cup this summer, blaming ‘poor preparation’ and the fact Brazilians simply ‘train with less determination’ when in their home country.
Neymar Jr was fast-looking to be the star of his national team this summer. That is, until he got knocked out of the tournament at quarter-final stage by a devastating challenge at the hands of Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga.
A fractured vertebra and the prospect of a lengthy recovery period was a miserable way for the 22-year-old to end his World Cup campaign, but nonetheless, Luis Felipe Scolari’s Brazilians won the game 2-1 and proceeded to the semi final.
The host nation then went head-to-head with Joachim Loew’s Germany machine and suffered a shameful 7-1 semi-final thumping, not only without their young talisman but also minus their captain and key defender, Thiago Silva (suspension).
Painful to watch yet somewhat enthralling at the same time, Brazil were left totally obliterated by the Germans. They had been shown up to be weak defensively and not half the side they were creatively with Neymar running the show up front. In fact, it appeared they had totally lost their nerve.
In an interview with Rede Globo, Neymar managed to throw some light on why Brazil were so abysmal in the World Cup and said the bottom line was that they were poorly prepared.
“I question it myself, why we did not win the World Cup,” he said, “but I can’t find a way to explain it.
“Whoever prepares better, wins in football. Preparation is everything.”
The star striker, who plays for Spanish giants Barcelona, compared training for the national team with training for one’s club. He explained that a session at club level (Barca) is always taken seriously, but that for an international fixture (Brazil), is far less intense.
He considered that the reason why Brazilian players these days are often thought to perform better in domestic and European tournaments than they do when serving international duty.
“I think the Brazilians are some of the best players in the world but every training session in Europe is taken more seriously.
“In Brazil, it’s different. You train more, but some time you train with less determination. Brazilians are like that.
Gracious in defeat, he admitted that Germany – who marched strongly on to be crowned World Cup champions of the 2014 tournament – are a far superior side in terms of their preparation.
“Brazilian football is behind Germany,” he added, “we have to be men to admit that.”
Neymar, who is still in Brazil receiving treatment for the back injury he sustained in the World Cup, is expected to be back in training with Barcelona next month ready to commence their 2014/2015 La Liga campaign.