Rio de Janeiro — Host nation Brazil must play big or go home
Wednesday when its men's soccer team takes on Denmark—for the country scarred
by a 2014 World Cup debacle is facing another possible embarrassing elimination
The team has had two deeply disappointing scoreless draws in
this Olympic tournament — to South Africa and Iraq, not exactly world soccer
powerhouses — and fans have been booing and mocking the team, especially
Brazil coach Rogerio Micale has leapt to the defense of his
misfiring 24-year-old star striker, who has been criticized for poor
performances and a lack of leadership.
Also read: Brazil disappoints again in men's soccer, draws Iraq 0-0
The coach says "Neymar will become the best player in
the world, we need to respect him ... He is young. I know that at times he
behaves in a way that we may not like, but at his age, wouldn't we do the same
things that he does?"
Micale said the criticism could hurt future generations of
Brazilian players who dream of being on the national soccer team.
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