Brazil legend Ronaldo calls World Cup media criticism of Neymar diving 'nonsense'

Brazil's defender Miranda Marcelo and Neymar take part in a training session on the eve of their 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Mexico

His replacement Felipe Luis usually is more solid defensively and gets forward well but has just come back from a broken leg, while, Fagner, who played on the right is no Alves.

But before the Round of 16 match against Mexico, he was under quite a bit of pressure as it was Philippe Coutinho who was undoubtedly Brazil's most effective performer in the group stage.

In the last eight Brazil will face Belgium, who came from two goals down to sensationally beat Japan 3-2 with a dramatic stoppage-time victor from Nacer Chadli.

Although Layun definitely made contact with the 25-year-old Brazilian and probably should have been booked, Neymar's reaction of rolling and convulsing on the ground has once again led to him being heavily criticised by many fans and pundits.

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What became clear in Brazil's 2-0 victory over Mexico on Monday is that the wild side of the striker's character is going nowhere at this year's World Cup. The answers, delivered over a five-goal second half that saw the Europeans come back from two goals down to find an injury-time victor: Japan absolutely belonged, and Belgium has the stomach to fight back. The game was largely uneventful until Neymar sparked into life in the 25th minute to turn Mexican defender Edson Alvarez inside out and dispatch a shot. It was clear that Belgium were the more exhausted team after 90 minutes of high pressing, so Chadli's goal was key as going into extra-time may have been more favourable for Japan.

Brazil's steady progress into the quarter-finals of the World Cup has marked them out as one of the favorites.

Thomas Meunier (c) celebrates with teammates after creating Belgium's late victor vs. Japan.

"We have to learn to suffer", said Neymar.

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If he's right about that, he could be playing at not just the next World Cup but the 2026 World Cup as well. With that, dreams of a quarter-final between the two greatest players were shattered.

"We wasted a lot of time because of one single player", Osorio said. They caused problems for Brazil, too, initially.

The victor of the clash between the Selecao and the Red Devils will face the victor of the quarter-final between Uruguay and France.

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar was often at the centre of things, as he scored and played a key role in Roberto Firmino getting the second. It is noteworthy that the last two goals against Japan were scored by players who came on as a substitute.

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