Neymar Jr, Brazil VS Switzerland: In the opening encounter of the group E encounter, 5-time World Champions Brazil was held to a 1-1 draw against the European side Switzerland. It was Barcelona’s midfielder Philippe Coutinho who had an impact on the game, while the rest of the Brazilian offensive unit fell asleep.
Neymar, in particular, had a rough night against the European opposition who marked the attacker closely and roughed him up with umpteen number of fouls. Further, when put in situations of scoring, the Paris St Germain forward could not make the most of his shots, as he made over 5 shots in the match.
A series of fouls found Neymar wanting in the latter half of the match, where the Swiss marked and defender Neymar to excellence. Neymar, post the match became the first Brazilian to be fouled ten times in the World Cup further entering the World record books for Brazil since 1966.
A record ten times for Neymar:
Neymar was fouled 10 times in this match vs Switzerland, most for any player in a World Cup match since Alan Shearer was fouled 11 times against Tunisia on June 15, 1998.
It also is the most fouls suffered for a Brazilian player in a World Cup match since 1966. pic.twitter.com/AZSI1a3gbF
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 17, 2018
The 26-year-old star was fouled a record whopping ten times throughout the entirety of the match. The double-digit total, according to ESPN, marked the most fouls on one player in the World Cup since 1998, when Tunisia fouled the Englishman Alan Shearer 11 times.
However, the forward was let not off so easily by the media and the critics, who suggested that the right-footed attacker seemingly fell down to the softest of touches to gain his side a free-kick. It has been one long-standing criticism of the attacker, that he dives and falls down to the ground at the softest of touches.
100% aerial duels won
100% take-ons completed
44 passes attempted
41 passes completed
6 tackles won
4 fouls committed
Neymar's worst nightmare. 👻 pic.twitter.com/nU28yjv3dK
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 17, 2018
On the contrary, several other critics said that Switzerland played the game the tough and rough way against the five-time World champions Brazil. If not for the push and drive from Philippe Coutinho in the first half, the Brazilians would have suffered to gain a point away from their first encounter in the 2018 World Cup.
The winger was subjected to shirt pulls, late feet, and rough tackles throughout the night against Switzerland. If Brazil stands a chance at winning the World Cup, their main man Neymar must step up his game.