Neymar hits back at Lugano

Neymar has hit back at claims of Uruguay captain Diego Lugano that he is “talented at winning free-kicks”.

Speaking after Brazil’s 2-1 victory over Uruguay in Wednesday’s Confederations Cup semifinal at the Mineirao Stadium, Neymar moved to avoid a verbal confrontation with the centre-back.

“He has the right to say what he wants, it won’t affect me. I don’t pay any attention to it. What is important is that I help my team to win,” the 21-year-old Barcelona striker said.

After the match, Lugano stood by the accusations he made on Tuesday. When asked about a statement from Brazil’s football confederation (CBF) condemning Lugano’s comments, the Paris Saint-Germain defender expressed bemusement.

“Do you think I care about what the CBF or the media say? It doesn’t interest me. I say what I think without worrying about the reaction of others,’’ he added.

Neymar failed to score for the first time in the tournament on Wednesday but played a role in both of Brazil’s goals. Fred’s opener came after a Neymar shot was blocked by Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera while he provided the assist for Paulinho’s late winner with a precise corner-kick.

Neymar said Brazil’s squad would keep a keen eye Thursday’s other semifinal between Spain and Italy in Fortaleza. But he declined to nominate a preferred rival for Sunday’s final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

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