Germany legend Lothar Matthaus has said Brazilian Neymar is a world class footballer who does not need to exaggerate when he is fouled because it does not earn him any sympathy, ESPNreports.
Brazil superstar Neymar, who has scored twice so far to help set up a quarterfinal meeting with Belgium in Russia, has been heavily criticised for a string of theatrical reactions when clashing with an opponent.
“Neymar does not need (to do) it. He is an excellent player, one of the five best players in the world,” Matthaus said.
“Why does he need the acting? It does not bring him sympathy. Diego Maradona was not acting, Lionel Messi is not acting. We need players like Neymar but not the acting.”
Matthaus was equally critical of Colombia’s players during their agonising penalty defeat to England in their round of 16 clash.
However, the 1990 World Cup-winner insists it is up to referees to put a stop to it, adding that during his playing days Colombia’s Carlos Valderrama was one such culprit but now there were just too many.
“I remember Colombia (against England on Tuesday) how they were acting,” he added.
“In the 1990s they had one, Carlos Valderrama, now Colombia have six. I don’t like this provocation and acting and I cannot understand why a player likes to cheat. With video assistant referees this should not be possible.”