Neymar’s performance that made him Brazil’s second-leading scorer was met with criticism. Peru defender Carlos Zambrano was displeased with the Paris Saint-Germain’s star’s style of play when their teams faced off in the World Cup qualifiers Tuesday.
“Honestly, he is a great player, one of the best in the world, but for me, he is a real clown,” Zambrano told the television program “La Banda del Chino.”
The latest Peru-Brazil matchup marked the fourth time Neymar scored three or more goals for his country in a game and the first time he did so in a competitive match. Despite the accomplishment, Zambrano wasn’t impressed with how Neymar would get in position to get calls to his advantage.
“[Neymar] is aware of everything he did on the field, he is a great player but he was looking for the slightest foul,” Zambrano said.
The most crucial score of the night happened late in the game when Neymar was awarded a penalty in the 83rd minute of the match. He then finished off his opponents by scoring during injury time as Brazil went on to win 4-2.
“In the penalty area he threw himself four or five times to see if they would award him a penalty and in the end, he achieved his goal, with two penalties, but they weren’t,” the Peru defender said.
“It’s Brazil and at the touch [immediately] they went to look at the VAR. Whether the play was positive or negative, they did review the images because it is Brazil,” Zambrano pointed out.
Neymar already has 64 goals in 103 games for Brazil, surpassing former striker Ronaldo’s 62. He trails only the legendary Pele, who has 77 international goals.
In his current stay with PSG, he’s proven to be one of the best in the world with 72 goals and 42 assists in 88 appearances. He was also a big figure for FC Barcelona, winning multiple titles with Lionel Messi.
Whether or not Neymar’s opponents like his strategy on the field, he remains an important player for his country. Brazil’s next matchup is scheduled for Nov. 13 when the team faces Venezuela.