Brazil Legend Ronaldo Claims Criticism of Neymar’s Playacting Is ‘Nonsense’

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Former Brazil and Real Madrid legend Ronaldo has lashed out at critics of Neymar, claiming that criticism of the Brazilian star is “nonsense”.

The PSG star has come under heavy criticism for his supposed diving and theatrics during the World Cup, particularly during the last 16 match between Brazil and Mexico, where the Mexican boss Juan Carlos Osorio lambasted the winger and suggested that his delay tactics had a negative effect on the game.

With many pundits and former players putting forward their opinion, former Brazil icon Ronaldo jumped to Neymar’s defence whilst talking to Sky Sports.

“There are many ways to see football and interpret it.

“I am against all these opinions [on Neymar acting]. He is an intelligent player in his movements and on how to defend himself from being tackled.”

The former player went on to suggest that officials could do more to help Neymar, stating: “I don’t think referees have been protecting him enough. When people repeatedly hit me, I would feel a sense of unfairness.

“Criticism is nonsense. TV shows and newspaper just want to fill the space.”

Former German World Cup star, Lothar Matthaus, also gave his opinion, stating: “Neymar doesn’t need to act. He’s an excellent player and has everything a high-level player needs.

“He’s one of the top five players in the world, why does he need to act? It doesn’t bring him sympathy and it’s not good for him.

“[Diego] Maradona wasn’t acting, [Lionel] Messi doesn’t act. [Cristiano] Ronaldo is an actor in a different way but not like this. We need players like Neymar in the game, but not like this.”

Both players have previously won the World Cup, with Matthaus winning it in 1990 and Ronaldo winning the trophy in 1994 and 2002.

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