Brazil’s new technical coordinator claims that Neymar hats "killed" Bernard
Neymar was recently criticised by new Brazil boss Dunga for being more concerned about his image than about football. Now it seems that Gilmar Rinaldi, Brazil’s new technical director, has joined in on the act of questioning Neymar's influence on the Seleção.
Gilmar Rinaldi has claimed that, prior to the 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Germany, Brazil "killed" Bernard's chances of impressing and doomed their own chances of success by wearing hats in support of Neymar.
Neymar was ruled out of the World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany after injuring his back against Colombia, with youngster Bernard being selected as his replacement.
Many of the team, however, wore hats with messages of support for Neymar in the build-up to the 7-1 defeat and Gilmar Rinaldi has criticised the squad's decision to fawn over their star player.
"Brazil were missing our best player, we were experiencing a difficult time and we were about to face Germany - our most difficult game to date in that World Cup. I would not have agreed to an action like those hats," he told SporTV.
"What must Bernard have thought replacing him (Neymar)? How must he have felt? It's like saying: 'It's your turn to win the game for us.' The game was already difficult enough.
"It was a cute homage and Neymar is a wonderful lad against whom I have nothing but giving Neymar strength at that time was wrong. It should have been about the collective.
"On a matchday we needed our warriors to be focused. That's not why we lost, but the spirit needed wasn't there. The hats killed Bernard," completed Rinaldi.