On Sidelines After $418,000,000 Deal, Neymar Should Be Benched by Brazil, Says Pundit in a Scathing Attack

Published 09/06/2023, 12:00 PM EDT

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It has been several days since Neymar Jr. signed for Al Hilal. The Brazilian superstar is yet to make his debut for the Saudi Arabian side as he is currently sidelined with an injury. But he was surprisingly called up for this month’s set of international matches for Brazil. As he rejoined his national teammates, a pundit shared his eye-opening thoughts on how he would creatively use Neymar as a ‘luxury’ option if he was the head coach.

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Already, the former FC Barcelona star has garnered mixed reactions since his arrival in Riyadh. Now, once again he has received criticism from a renowned soccer expert.

Pundit claims Neymar should be benched by Brazil

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In the wake of a staggering $418 million deal, Neymar finds himself in the spotlight once again. But this time, the attention is far from flattering. Notably, the player’s fellow countrymen pundit Milton Neves has launched a scathing attack. The columnist is calling for the Brazilian soccer sensation to be benched by his national team.

While writing for UOL, Neves called his nation’s soccer team “weak” and insisted it has been just Santos star “Neymar and 10 others” since 2010. While discussing what to expect from the Brazil team under the interim coach Fernando Diniz, he vocally wrote about Neymar’s current role in the team. “Well, I don’t know what’s going through the coach’s head. But if I were Diniz, I’d use Neymar in the qualifiers as a ‘luxury reserve’.”

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Neves branded Neymar as “The famous ’12th player’.” The journalist then wrote how he’d use Ney if he were the coach: “He will still have a lot to offer the youngsters who are starting to wear the yellow shirt. And he could make a difference by coming on in the second half, rested, against South America’s fragile rivals.” Indeed, it is a huge claim from Neves. Certainly, Ney won’t be happy with his words.

Notably, Brazil will face Bolivia and Peru this month for qualifiers. Despite Neves’ claims, Neymar has arrived at his beloved nation. However, he was spotted with a bandage on his hand, which hints at another injury scare.

Another injury scare for the Brazilian International?

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After arriving in Brazil, Neymar was warmly welcomed by a crowd of enthusiastic fans who had gathered at the airport to catch a glimpse of the soccer star. This arrival followed Neymar’s Instagram story, where he mentioned linking up with his teammate Richarlison. In a tweet shared on X, Neymar can be seen walking through the Brazilian airport with a bandaged hand. This certainly leads to speculating of another injury.

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Despite being called up to the Brazil squad, the forward has yet to make his debut for Al Hilal. This may come as a surprise, considering he hasn’t played a competitive soccer match since his transfer from PSG. Furthermore, he was expected to play against Al Ittihad on September 1, but his injury prevented him from making his debut in that match. Now, it seems he’ll play for his club after he plays for Brazil.

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What are your thoughts on Neymar’s bandage snap? Also, let us know your opinion on the Brazilian pundit’s claim for benching him.

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Written by:

Abhishek Mishra

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Abhishek Mishra is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports. Abhishek's love for soccer began during his childhood days when he spent most of his time playing and watching the sport. His early exposure to soccer earned him many accolades at district and zonal levels, making him a true sports enthusiast.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz

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