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TEARS AND JEERS

Brazil’s dependence on Neymar is as strong now as it was in 2014

Are the Samba Boys under performing without Neymar? Or do high expectations resign them to failure?

Is it time we start calling Brazil a one man team?

Their fans have started to turn on the players and management, who couldn’t beat Venezuela on Tuesday night.

While a lot of the Brazilian frustration was aimed towards VAR following their 0-0 draw, you do get the feeling the nation hasn’t forgiven or forgot the events of 2014.

Despite hosting the tournament, there were plenty of empty seats

AFP or licensors
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Despite hosting the tournament, there were plenty of empty seats

When you think of Brazilian football, you think of a packed stadium with crazed fans having a fiesta in the stands.

You imagine iconic players, 6-0 wins and silky skills from the men idolised by the adoring masses.

Tough acts to follow…

AP:Associated Press
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Tough acts to follow…

What was seen in Salvidor on Tuesday night couldn’t have been further from that old cliche.

There were over 10,000 empty seats, uninspiring football and disgruntled fans venting their anger at what was played out before them.

But is the negativity aimed towards the side warranted?

The last time Brazil tasted defeat

Getty Images - Getty
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The last time Brazil tasted defeat

Brazil have only lost once in their last 27 games – the World Cup quarter-final defeat to Belgium.

In that time they have beaten; Germany, Argentina Colombia and Uruguay.

In England’s last 27 games, the Three Lions have lost five games – just to give Brazil’s ‘crisis’ some perspective.

Neymar has 60 goals and 40 assists in his 97 games for Brazil

AP:Associated Press
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Neymar has 60 goals and 40 assists in his 97 games for Brazil

One of the main issues Brazil face is dealing with life without their superstar, Neymar, who is out for the tournament.

The PSG forward is third on their all-time top scorers chart and has only played 20 minutes in Brazil’s previous seven games.

Since 2013 Brazil have only lost two games out of 58 with Neymar playing while they have lost six out of the 23 without him.

Pair of pretenders

Reuters
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Pair of pretenders

The fans’ dependence on the 27-year-old sky rocketed following the 7-1 German drubbing as Neymar missed that game with a back injury.

Following recent draws to Panama and now, Venezuela, the team still struggle without their main man.

Philippe Countinho had an indifferent season with Barcelona and while some of the youngsters like; Everton, Richarlison and the injured Vinicius, whilst all talented, can’t carry the weight of expectation that Neymar can.

BTEC Neymar

Getty - Contributor
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BTEC Neymar

In the game vs Venezuela, Brazil had three goals chalked off after VAR reviews.

Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus and Coutinho were all denied by the referee on a night which could have been so different for Brazil.

Brazil’s enemy against Venezuela

AP:Associated Press
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Brazil’s enemy against Venezuela

As hosts, Brazil cannot settle for less than gold in the Copa America.

If they want to properly rebuild on two disappointing World Cups and rebuild the relationship with the fans then winning a trophy on home soil is the way to do it.

But they are going to have to find the formula without their star, Neymar.



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