The head coach of Brazil’s men’s national soccer team has shockingly chosen to exclude Neymar from this summer's World Cup.
“Neymar is not on my list,” said Luis Felipe Scolari this morning amidst audible gasps and screams among stunned members of the Brazilian press.
“Have you seen him play with Barcelona? Rubbish! He’s wasting his time with them,” exclaimed Big Phil regarding Neymar who has scored nine goals and made over twenty appearances for the famed Spanish club since he joined them roughly nine months ago.
Scolari also blamed the twenty-two-year-old former Santos player for appearing in a Brazilian soft drink commercial where he teaches tourists nonsensical phrases in Portuguese. (The commercial can be seen in the video at the top of this post).
“That ad was offensive, shameful and a poor example for the children of our great country,” noted Scolari about the ad that is being investigated by Brazilian advertising authorities for “promoting bullying.”
Thus far there has been no official response from the two-time South American Footballer of the Year who will be in the starting XI for Barca for today’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg.
Neymar has tallied thirty goals for the senior squad in 2010 though he joined the side after Brazil was eliminated from the World Cup held in South Africa. He was named as the best player of the 2013 Confederations Cup that was won by Brazil on home soil and coached by Scolari.
The surprising move by Scolari represents the latest problem regarding the World Cup that will be played this June and July in Brazil. Preparations for the upcoming tournament have been plagued by construction accidents while massive street protests similar to those held during the Confederations Cup might also take place amid the World Cup.
Prior to Scolari’s announcement, Dani Alves, one of Neymar’s Barcelona and Brazilian teammates, strongly defended the forward whose $57 million transfer last summer was the tenth most expensive transfer ever:
"For me now he is playing as well as he was at the start of the season. You expect that there will always be a period of adaptation when a player arrives in a new country, but he has been playing well. The club paid so much for him because he is worth it. People have paid more money for players that haven't been worth it."Amongst those who will likely replace Neymar on Brazil’s upcoming World Cup team are Hulk and Jó though Ronaldinho may have an outside chance. One option not available is Diego Costa who was born in Brazil but instead opted to play for defending World Cup champion Spain.
Neymar isn’t the only one feeling World Cup woes; the entire Uruguayan team could be excluded from the tournament after the board of directors of the country’s soccer association resigned due to alleged “government interference.”
Video Source– YouTube user Propaganda da Hora
Online Sources – The Guardian; VOXXI; El Espectador; The Huffington Post; The Latin Americanist