Neymar falls foul of dogged Swiss

The much-anticipated debut of Neymar at the Russia World Cup turned out to be a disappointment on Sunday as the Brazil star failed to impress in Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland.

This may have been something to do with the Swiss tactic of roughing up the 26-year old every time he got the ball as the PSG striker was fouled 10 times during the match.

No single player has been fouled more in a World Cup match since Alan Shearer against Tunisia in France 1998. In that game the former Newcastle United hitman was fouled 11 times.

Three Swiss players were booked for fouling the Brazil number 10.

And TV cameras appeared to show the extent of the treatment he received when they picked up several holes in his socks apparently caused by Swiss studs.

Neymar became more and more frustrated as the game went on, appealing to the referee each time a Swiss defender tackled him.

Then to add insult to injury, the Swiss equaliser was tinged with controversy after Steven Zuber appeared to push Brazil’s Miranda before heading in from close range.

Brazil coach Tite was not happy.

“The Miranda moment was very clear,” he said. “It’s a very clear play… You cannot discuss. You have to be fair. I cannot talk about something that was so obvious. There was a foul.

“I will also say this – Miranda said to me: ‘Well, when he pushed me, I should have fallen over,’ but I said: ‘No, absolutely not. Don’t simulate anything. Don’t draw a foul otherwise it will look like you are trying to do so.’”

Fan opinion on Neymar’s performance was as usual, divided.

While his hair was also a major talking point.

Was Neymar fouled or did he dive?