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Copa America: 'Brazil were right to strip Neymar of captaincy', says 2002 World Cup winner

12 Jun 2019, 14:32 IST

Brazil v Qatar
Brazil v Qatar

What's the story?

Former Manchester United midfielder Kleberson believes that the officials of his home country, Brazil, made the right decision by stripping Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar of his national captaincy.

In case you didn't know...

Neymar was presented with the captain's armband after the 2018 FIFA World Cup but did not last in the role as he was stripped of the honour and replaced with Dani Alves after a mere eight months.

The decision caps a disastrous individual season for the former Barcelona man. Not only was his campaign marred by injury, but he also found himself embroiled in controversies off the pitch.

The Brazil international was banned by the French Football Federation for appearing to strike a fan after PSG's defeat to Rennes in the French Cup a few weeks ago.

Also see : Copa America Standings, Barcelona Transfer News.

The heart of the matter

Kleberson, who won the FIFA World Cup with Brazil in 2002, believes the country's officials made the right decision regarding Neymar's captaincy because he believes the forward has been making too many 'mistakes' outside of football.

Speaking to (via Goal), the former Manchester United man said, "The coaching staff took the right decision to take the captaincy from Neymar."

"Everyone in Brazil has a lot of respect and admiration for Neymar with his ability, but nowadays in football, when you do something wrong, everyone can see it."

"Neymar is still making mistakes off the pitch which affects his game on the pitch. I think everyone in Brazil agrees with the decision."


When asked about Brazil's chances in the Copa America, he replied, "Brazil can win the Copa America this year. I want to be there with all my friends and family in the Maracana. Especially if we get to the final against Argentina, it would be great to be there; what an occasion."

"Argentina have a strong rivalry with Brazil. That is the team Brazil need to be aware of, especially as they have Lionel Messi."

What's next?

Neymar has been ruled out of the upcoming Copa America after suffering an ankle injury that will keep him on the sidelines for a month.

Brazil are set to face Bolivia in their inaugural Copa America game on June 15.

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