Thursday, August 15, 2013

Neymar: Brazil not up to speed yet

After tasting Confederations Cup success only last month, Scolari's side were overwhelmed by their Swiss hosts at St Jakob-Park, much to the frustration of their star man

Barcelona new-boy Neymar has admitted Brazil are not up to speed just yet in the wake of their surprise 1-0 defeat against Switzerland at St Jakob-Park in Basel.

Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men came into the match on the back of an 11-match unbeaten streak - including a memorable Confederations Cup success over Spain - but those memories were banished by a lacklustre display against Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men as a Dani Alves own goal saw Brazil lose 1-0, leaving Neymar lamenting the lack of fitness in the


“We’re only just getting back to work now,” stated the 21-year-old.

“Our players are in pre-season and it’s hard to get up to speed so quickly.”

Neymar was more bullish over Brazil’s fortunes for the future however and revealed that there is a bond in the side following their Confederations Cup glory.

“It was great to reconnect with everyone. I am sure we will improve in the coming matches.”

The forward indicated that he wasn’t impressed by Switzerland’s tactics in Basel, criticising the hosts for being too defensive.

But one aspect of the Swiss’s game that drew praise from their opponents was the performance of Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri.

The former Basel youngster was lauded by FCB team-mates Dante and Luis Gustavo after his role in the Selecao’s dismantling.

“Besides being a great player, my friend has a promising future in both European and even world football,” enthused Gustavo.

Central defender Dante echoed those sentiments, adding “Bayern have invested in one of the world’s great promising players".

“He’s a player who is progressing well and works hard. He has great talent, with the work he puts in, it’s no surprise the talent he has.”

Gustavo also talked about his future at the club, hinting that he still may have to leave Bavaria this summer.

“I do not know what will happen,” admitted the Arsenal target. "But I do want to define my future as soon as possible.

“I want to improve my participation and prepare for upcoming friendlies.”