NEYMAR NOT MATURE ENOUGH TO LEAD BRAZIL - LEONARDO

By 11:03 Fri, 04 Sep 2015 Comments


The former Selecao star was critical of the 23-

year-old forward, despite him boasting an

impressive strike rate at the national team

Former Brazil international Leonardo says he

doubts Neymar has the maturity required to be the

leader of the national team.

The 23-year-old was appointed captain of Dunga's

side in the aftermath of World Cup 2014, but was

criticised for allowing his emotions to get the better

of him at this summer's Copa America.

Neymar was sent off following the group stage

defeat to Colombia after headbutting Jeison Murillo

and was consequently handed a four-match ban,

which ruled him out of the rest of the tournament.

Leonardo - who has previously been vocal in his

criticism of the Barcelona forward - has now

repeated his concerns over the player's

temperament.

He told SporTV : "Neymar is a great player, but he

doesn't have the maturity to lead Brazil and take the

team by his hand."

Leonardo did, however, point to the former Santos

star's improvement since leaving his homeland for

Barcelona in the summer of 2013: "I criticised him a

lot when he played in Brazil.

"He took the ball and only wanted to dribble with it

and make the difference. Today, he can also play

without the ball. I didn't think he could do that - it is

a question of mentality.

"Previously he didn't take free-kicks. Now, he's a

big threat from set-pieces. There are a multitude of

things a great player can improve on."

Neymar scored 39 goals in 51 games in all

competitions for Barca as they won a European and

domestic treble under Luis Enrique.


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