Confederations Cup - Scolari: Neymar my idol, but he must learn to play for team

Neymar is an idol to Brazil fans who have pinned their hopes on the talented forward bringing success but manager Luis Felipe Scolari believes he still has to learn how to be a team player.

Reuters
Confederations Cup - Scolari: Neymar my idol, but he must learn to play for team
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France's Mathieu Debuchy (L) challenges Brazil's Neymar during their international friendly soccer match in Porto Alegre, June 9, 2013. (Reuters)

Scolari said Brazil will start their Confederations Cup campaign against Japan on Saturday with the same side that beat France 3-0 in their final friendly in Porto Alegre on Sunday with Neymar aiming to fashion an opening win for the hosts.

Much of the focus will be on the 21-year-old who has moved from Santos to Barcelona for 57 million euros.

However, Scolari said that while he is an outstanding player who can do anything with the ball, Neymar will improve even more when he learns to develop as a true team player.

"He is a 21-year-old player, he is an idol to the Brazilian fans and he is my idol too," Scolari said at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium where the opening game takes place.

"He is someone who can dictate the game, he can run, pass, he can get past opponents. But he will become even better when he plays as a team player, but this can take time.

"Right now I am very pleased with what he has done for the team, he has done everything asked of him, but he can and will get better as he gets older and more experienced."

Brazil, and their World Cup-winning coach Scolari, have come in for widespread criticism from the media after an average set of results since he replaced Mano Menezes last November.

Their win against France, described by local media as laboured, poor, erratic and disappointing, at least gave Scolari a second victory and a platform for the tournament.

Scolari said he wants the Brazilian supporters to get behind his side and put pressure on the players to succeed.

"The fans can make a difference, they can put pressure on us which motivates and helps us," he said.

"I am very confident we will do well. I have seen the attitude of the players, it is very positive.

"We get a lot of respect for our football outside Brazil, now it is time for us to get some respect at home and I think we will during this tournament."

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