‘For me Neymar would take the first one, you set the tone’: Jurgen Klinsmann SLAMS Brazil’s bizarre decision to leave ‘their best penalty taker until last’ – as they crash out of the World Cup without the PSG star having a chance to score
Jurgen Klinsmann has slammed Brazil’s decision to not give Neymar the first spot-kick during their penalty shootout against Croatia.
The South American side were knocked out of the World Cup on Friday after they were beaten 4-2 by Croatia, with both Rodrygo and Marquinhos failing to score, spelling heartache for the South American side.
But their bizarre tactics, choosing not to use their talisman forward, Neymar, as their first spot-kick taker were criticised by Klinsmann who claimed the PSG Superstar should have stepped up and ‘set the tone for his side.’
Neymar did not take a penalty during Brazil’s defeat to Croatia on penalties on Friday night
While Croatia converted all four of their spot-kicks Rodrygo and Marquinhos (left) both missed
‘They had totally different approaches,’ Klinsmann told BBC Sport after the game. ‘Previously you saw your best penalty taker set the tone. ‘For me Neymar would take the first one, you set the tone.
‘The momentum really shifted with that Croatia goal, just before the end of extra time.’
‘What goes through your mind if you are a Brazilian player, you get scared. The whole nation expects you to get through and you panic.
‘You are far more nervous because you don’t have any time to balance yourself out.’
The German football legend’s comments were echoed by Rio Ferdinand, who took to Twitter to express his confusion at the decision to leave their best penalty taker until last.
The former England defender wrote: ‘Lads in the studio all speaking on how your best penalty taker can’t be left until last… He never takes a pen half the time… Neymar now left thinking what if…’
Neymar (left) was in floods of tears on the pitch with this likely to be his last World Cup
Rodrygo’s (left) penalty was amazingly stopped by Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic
It was heartache for the PSG superstar on full time though, with the 30-year-old breaking down in floods of tears, after he had previously claimed that the 2022 World Cup could be his last.
After a cagey affair, the Brazilian No.10 broke the deadlock in the first half of extra time, breaking through on goal to slide a right footed shot into the back of the net.
Brazil should have put the game to bed, but for a long-range effort from Bruno Petkovic that beat several defenders and Alisson Becker in goal to send the game to penalties, with just three minutes left on the clock.
Neymar (right) broke the deadlock in the first half of injury time to put his side 1-0 up
But Mislav Orsic (right) netted a late equalizer to take the knockout match to penalties
Croatia were clinical with their spot-kicks with all of Nikola Vlasic, Lovro Majer, Modric and Mislav Orsic, converting.
Brazil meanwhile took a slightly different tactic opting to hold off on playing their star forward Neymar too soon, but their tactics did not pay off, despite Casemiro and Pedro both converting.