Featured Matches
Previous
Lille
FC Porto
ESPNDeportes 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
NK Maribor
Celtic
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Standard Liege
Zenit St Petersburg
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Stjarnan
Internazionale
9:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Fulham
Wolverhampton Wanderers
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Colorado Rapids
Los Angeles Galaxy
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Seattle Sounders FC
San Jose Earthquakes
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
AaB
Apoel Nicosia
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Lille
FC Porto
ESPNDeportes 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
NK Maribor
Celtic
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Slovan Bratislava
BATE Borisov
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Standard Liege
Zenit St Petersburg
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
Hajduk Split
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Stjarnan
Internazionale
9:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Fulham
Wolverhampton Wanderers
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Livingston
Heart of Midlothian
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Colorado Rapids
Los Angeles Galaxy
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Seattle Sounders FC
San Jose Earthquakes
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
DC United
Waterhouse
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
CD FAS
Montreal Impact
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Nacional Potosí
Libertad
9:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
UTC
Deportivo Cali
9:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
General Díaz
Cobresal
11:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Peñarol
Wilstermann
11:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Deportivo La Guaira
Atlético Nacional
1:30 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
River Plate
Colón de Santa Fe
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Guadalajara
Zacatepec
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Puebla
Necaxa
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Altamira
Queretaro
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
At. San Luis
Monterrey
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Veracruz
Lobos BUAP
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Figueirense FC
Botafogo
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Santos FC
Atletico Paranaense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport
Palmeiras
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Bahia
Criciúma
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coritiba FBC
EC Vitória
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Chapecoense AF
Fluminense FC
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Flamengo
Atlético MG
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Internacional
São Paulo
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Western Sydney Wanderers
Guangzhou Evergrande
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Pohang Steelers
FC Seoul
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Free State Stars
SuperSport United
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Maritzburg Utd
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chippa United
Pretoria Univ
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Moroka Swallows
Mamelodi Sundowns
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Mpumalanga Black Aces
Silver Stars
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Orlando Pirates
Amazulu
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Saprissa
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Sky Blue FC
Houston Dash
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Duarte: Dunga's return is complicated

Brazil Jul 21, 2014
Read
John Brewin profile picture Posted by John Brewin
Jun 27, 2014

Neymar's name still on everyone's lips

Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari asserts that his side must respect the threat the Chile possess or his side may crash out of the tournament early.

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil -- It is getting tense in Belo Horizonte. All of Brazil is tense. The serious business will arrive with the knockout stages, and the test of Chile can only ratchet up the pressure on the host team, coach and their star man.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's Friday news conference saw him deluged with questions about Neymar, including the golden boy's successful legal action to stop Playboy magazine publishing pictures of someone claiming to be his ex-girlfriend.

"Playboy? I'm a bit too old for that," Scolari deflected. He has little interest in his starlet's private life beyond its effect on his form; having made that clear, he swiftly reverted the agenda to on-field matters.

"What I see of Neymar is that for the age he is, he is a very grounded player," Scolari said. "He has a very strong personality, very interesting -- he's a great team player. He's always involved in tactical situations and the balance of the team, but off the pitch, I don't have any idea.

Luiz Felipe Scolari refused to talk up Neymar as one of the world's best, but Brazil skipper Thiago Silva was happy to.

"He has contact with his parents, we talk to him about how he is at home, with his family. He's a kid who is a very good kid and the way he's evolving, if he has that support behind him, was always going to happen as it has been happening. "

With Cristiano Ronaldo having now departed the World Cup, and Lionel Messi alongside Neymar on four goals, there is a growing temptation to make comparisons to those modern greats. Scolari, though, refuses to play along with football's ever-growing obsession with individual stars. He was not willing to reveal with whom his preference lies.

"I think Messi is an excellent player, a star, one of the best in the world, and naturally any club, any national team, any squad or any little backyard game, wherever he is, everything will be around him because he's one of the best," said Scolari, before speaking of the star man of the Portuguese national team he coached from 2003 to 2008. "As for Ronaldo, he is one of the biggest players in the world, and we should respect that. My opinion is my personal opinion, and maybe I'll tell you one day, in 10 or 15 years, because now I don't have to say anything.

"Neymar doesn't play to be the best in the world, he plays for Brazil because he wishes to be the world champion."

Thiago Silva, the defender whose importance to the Selecao is probably only secondary to that of Neymar, was a little more effusive.

"Neymar is growing to a crescendo which is very good and depending on where we are placed at the end of the World Cup, he will be considered one of the best or the best player in the world," the captain said when also asked to make the Messi comparison. "He's very much at ease technically, but Messi is undoubtedly one of the best of all -- but I'm sure Neymar will get to that level.

"I think day to day, he's a very easygoing kid, I know him off the pitch and he's very much at ease and focused," Silva added.

When speaking later on Friday, Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli was asked to reveal his game plan for Brazil's clear danger man.

"We have trained with our system and will be very close to Neymar every time he gets the ball," the Argentinian said. "It's not that we'll follow him, we won't just have one player, but we'll have many marking him because he is so good and can make a difference."

Having ended Spain's tournament in Group B, Chile have a chance to kill off another favourite, a possibility that is a growing fear in the host nation and almost certainly a concern for the tournament's organisers.

Barcelona's Neymar has led Brazil into the second round of the World Cup.
Neymar is currently level with Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller in the race for the World Cup Golden Boot.

Playing with the pressure and expectation of nearly 200 million people's desire for victory has potential to make or break Brazil, but for now it is being embraced as a positive.

"Playing at home pushes you forward much more," Silva said. "On the bus on the streets there are thousands waving. In the car coming here, there was a car that came beside us and asked us to stop for autographs. Obviously we didn't stop, but those situations that take place show how much they love their Selecao. If we lose, we'll be frustrated, but life goes on. But football is something you love because of the unpredictability."

Scolari, who refused to reveal his team on the grounds that "problems happen," was wary yet bullish.

"For us, obviously, we would not be at all happy or satisfied if we don't go to next stage," he said. "We are doing our work with a lot of dedication, happiness, love, we like what we do. But on the other side is an opponent that is doing the same."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.