Brazil’s national team is in a rough place right now. After two goalless draws in their first two group stage games at the Olympics, the Selecao face the prospect of another embarrassing exit from a major summer tournament at home. Naturally, fans are growing restless, especially with Neymar’s lack of production.
To be fair, draws against South Africa and Iraq would probably stick in the craw of any fanbase with expectations of winning the tournament. Brazil’s coach, Rogerio Micale, has cautioned that this anger might have some adverse affects down the road, though. Too much disrespect and Neymar could choose to just say, “Forget y’all” and hang up his cleats on the international level.
“Neymar will one day become the best player in the world and we need to respect him,” Micale said via the Daily Mail. “If we don’t respect our best players they might not want to be with us any more.”
That, of course, seems pretty rash, but it’s not without precedent. Lionel Messi, who Neymar plays alongside at the club level with Barcelona, retired from the international scene in June. Messi has his reasons and no two players are alike, but you never know.
Brazil’s fate in the summer tournament hangs in the balance against Denmark on Wednesday night. A win would guarantee them a spot in the quarterfinals, surely alleviating some of the pressure Neymar and the team are feeling. A defeat sends them packing, and they’d need some help to survive with a draw.
Should Brazil get the boot, here’s to hoping it’s not the last we see of Neymar at the international level.