Harrison (New Jersey): Neymar has warned Brazil coach Dunga he will not accept being benched after he was left out of their starting line-up in Saturday’s victory over Costa Rica.
Brazil forward Neymar. Pic/AFP
The Barcelona forward, 23, has only recently recovered from a bout of mumps and is reported to have limped off during training with his compatriots on Thursday.
These factors may well have played into Dunga’s thinking when the Selecao coach restricted him to a 10-minute cameo in the 1-0 triumph over the World Cup 2014 quarter-finalists, courtesy of Hulk’s early effort.
But Neymar — who is banned from the next two competitive games for his country due to his red card after the full-time whistle against Colombia in this year’s Copa America — is refusing to accept his unorthodox status as a Brazil benchwarmer. “Being benched is not something I’m used to and I’m not willing to get used to it,” he told ESPN Brasil. “I want to play and I’m always working to be amongst the starting XI.”
Brazil are back in action tomorrow with a clash against USA, who will host next summer’s Copa America Centenario.
Neymar was one of the stars of last year’s World Cup before his tournament-ending injury in the last eight and enjoyed a stellar 2014-15, winning the treble with Barcelona in his second season at Camp Nou