By Michael Place MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua)
-- Brazil soccer great Ronaldo has
leapt to the defense of his compatriot Neymar, refuting claims
the Selecao forward was been play-acting during the World Cup in
Among those to
criticize Neymar in recent days are former England strikers Gary
Lineker and Alan Shearer, Argentina legend Diego Maradona and
Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio.
But Ronaldo called
on critics to be more objective and said referees were not
providing sufficient protection for Brazil’s No. 10
“We have to be more
technical in our comments and not like punters in a bar,”
Ronaldo said during an event in Moscow on Wednesday.
interpreted in many different ways and there are many opinions.
Neymar uses his mobility to defend himself from the bumps and
hits that are dished out to him. The referees have given him
little protection. He is a great talent. When I was repeatedly
targeted with violent actions I felt that I was treated
unjustly. The criticism is stupid and the response that he is
providing for the national team is marvellous. We still haven’t
seen the best of him.”
With the early
elimination of Germany, Argentina and Spain, Brazil are now
strong favorites to win their sixth World Cup as the competition
enters its final 12 days. Tite’s team have been unbeaten in
their four matches so far here, conceding just one goal in the
assignment is a quarterfinal clash with Belgium on Friday. The
winner will play either France or Uruguay in the semifinals four
said he hoped Brazil could avoid a semifinal clash with France,
who progressed to the last eight by defeating Argentina 4-3,
inspired by a Kylian Mbappe brace.
“We always have
problems playing against France so I hope they get knocked out
before facing Brazil,” Ronaldo said.
Calf injury leaves
Cavani major doubt for Urugugay against France
MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) --
Uruguay will almost certainly be without their
striker Edison Cavani for their World Cup quarterfinal against
France in Nizhny Novgorod on Friday as he struggles to recover
from a calf injury.
Uruguay’s two goals as the beat Portugal 2-1 in the last 16, but
had to limp out of Saturday night’s win in the closing minutes
of the game and has not been able to train with his team-mates
The Paris Saint
Germain forward is Uruguay’s top scorer in this World Cup with
three goals and has formed an important partnership with
Barcelona frontman Luis Suarez, who benefits greatly from his
ability to hold the ball up and focus the attention of rival
If Cavani is unable
to recover his replacement will also come from the Spanish Liga
Santander with either Cristhian Stuani or Maxi Gomez in line to
forward Stuani enjoyed his best ever season in top-flight
competition last season, netting 21 league goals as newly
promoted Girona went close to qualifying for Europe, while
21-year-old Gomez had a fine debut season in Spain netting 17
goals for an irregular Celta Vigo.