Lyon right-back and former Manchester United player, Rafael da Silva has come out brutally honest to say thay his fellow Brazilian, Neymar, is not playing to his full potential because of his lack of improvement on a lot of things off the pitch .
Neymar is currently the world’s most expensive footballer following his €222m transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, but Rafael says the ‘Neymar he knows’ has the potential to earn the world’s best player accolade, but only if he can refocus and embrace some vital improvement off that pitch which a great football talent needs to achieve even more.
Rafael, 29, was national teammate of Neymar at U-23 level, during Brazil’s campaign in the football event of 2012 Olympic Games. He opens up to ESPN, to advise his 28 year old countryman, refusing to be a praise singer of a superstar who needs to hear some home truth.
“We [Brazil] need Neymar, that’s for sure. We need him a lot. He needs to improve a lot of things outside the pitch. It’s important for a footballer,” a concerned Rafael told ESPN
“He needs to improve a lot outside the pitch to come inside the pitch and do his best. I hope he can do that and if he does, we have a
big chance to win.
“Neymar is not a leader. I don’t think he’s a leader. It’s not him. He can do the things he does because he is good, if he’s focused and concentrated, he is the best player in the world.”
“Football has to the first option of your life. He has so many things around him. He thinks in his mind ‘1 don’t need to do that’ to play well, but you need to.
Rafael added: “There are a lot of things you need to do. If he does that and someone can put this in his mind – I know him and I’ve played with him – I know he’s hard guy to listen to orders. It’s not good with him.
“I say the truth but sometimes people don’t want to listen to the truth. They want you to say you are good, you are magic’. They want
you to say all the good stuff, but life is not like that.
“I think he needs to listen more and if he does that it will be hard to stop Brazil.”
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