Mexican national soccer team coach Juan Carlos Osorio made it clear after his squad’s 2-0 round of 16 loss to Brazil in the FIFA World Cup on Monday that he was very unhappy with the game’s officiating, claiming the referees favored Brazil.
Mexico Coach Slams Neymar
Now, the 56-year-old Colombian has directed his anger toward someone else: Brazilian superstar Neymar. Osorio accused the 26-year-old Paris St-Germain forward of being overly dramatic about the severity of his injuries.
“We had control of the match, but to me it is just shameful that so much time could be lost over one player,” Osorio told ESPN. “The delay for one player was even four minutes, and that is a lesson for even children who play. This should be a game of men and not so much clowning around.”
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The coach was referring to an incident that happened about midway through the second half of Monday’s game. As Brazil led 1-0, Neymar was sitting on the field after chasing a ball that ended up out of bounds. Mexico’s Miguel Layun walked over to him and picked up the ball and while doing so, seemingly stepped on the Brazilian’s ankle. Neymar started writhing in pain on the floor and play was stopped for several moments.
Neymar was not taken out, however, and eventually jogged back onto the field after he realized he could continue playing. Many fans on social media appeared to agree with Osorio that Neymar was simply being theatrical and people criticized the star player for his antics.
According to ESPN, Layun said he didn’t purposely step on Neymar, and the Mexican defender said Neymar shouldn’t have complained that much because injuries are just part of the sport.
“In the end, it’s football. If he doesn’t want to be touched then he should do something else,” Layun said. “If he wants to be on the floor he should go lie down in his house. I touched him a little, but it was because when I went to collect the ball he tried to half-block me so I couldn’t. I wasn’t even looking at him. I was looking at the ball.”
“The referee even told me that, ‘We’ve looked at it and it’s not been a situation that you did with the intention of touching him.’”
Neymar is one of the most expensive soccer players in the world, having transferred from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain in 2017 for € 222 million (roughly $260 million).