Matthaus blasts Neymar ‘acting’

Neymar is a great footballer, but does not need to roll around on the floor when he is fouled as it does little to earn him any sympathy, according to former German skipper Lothar Matthaus.

The Brazil forward, who has hit two goals as his team have advanced to the quarter-finals, has been widely panned by fans and the media for his theatrics whenever tackled.

“Neymar does not need [to do] it. He is an excellent player, one of the five best players in the world,” said Matthaus. “Why does he need the acting?”

“It does not bring him sympathy. Diego Maradona was not acting, Lionel Messi is not acting. We need players like Neymar but not the acting.”

The 1990 World Cup winner had equally harsh words for Colombia following their defeat on penalties to England in their last-16 clash on Tuesday.

He compared the antics of the current squad to those of former Colombia star Carlos Valderrama at Italia 90.

“I remember Colombia [in Tuesday’s game against England] how they were acting,” he added.

“In the 1990s they had one, Carlos Valderrama, now Colombia have six. I don’t like this provocation and acting and I cannot understand why a player likes to cheat. With video assistant referees (VAR) this should not be possible.”

Meanwhile, the Sun newspaper has calculated that Neymar has spent a combined total of 14 minutes rolling around on the floor following tackles and fouls.

In a tweet mocking the Selecao star, the Sun awarded the PSG forward the “Fallon D’Floor” award for spending a total of 4.5 minutes per appearance or seven minutes per goal on the turf.