Dani Alves thinks Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar was harshly judged during the World Cup and has blasted those who criticised him as "weak".
Neymar had a race against time to be ready for the finals after breaking his foot in February, an injury which initially looked likely to rule him out.
He managed to return to fitness before the big kick-off and soaked up the attention in Russia, but not always for good reasons, as he was frequently ridiculed for his theatrics and behaviour on the pitch.
Neymar's underwhelming performance as Brazil were eliminated by Belgium in the quarter-finals made matters worse, but Alves thinks the criticism was exaggerated.
"I think so [it was over the top]," Alves told reporters at an auction and gala hosted by Neymar.
9 - Most chances created for a specific teammate at the 2018 #WorldCup— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 15, 2018
9 - Neymar to Coutinho
7 - Kieran Trippier to Harry Maguire
6 - Kevin De Bruyne to Eden Hazard
"Everything Neymar does turns into news. If he gets emotional, they criticise. If he colours his hair, they criticise. I want to see these people in Neymar's place.
"We have to focus on the things that make us mature and that help us become a real man. The rest is only silly things.
"I wish everyone who talked about Neymar would do things like he does here [the auction event].
"Criticising is a weapon of the weak. I believe that we football players always strive to do the best for the group and for our team-mates.
"Those who know Neymar know his great quality and how special he is. And I insist again, we have to take care of players like that, they illuminate football. It's players like him that make football have any sense.
"But as I said, criticising Neymar and players of that level is easy; what's difficult is to do what they do."
20 de agosto 2018
|Lopetegui pleased with Bale and Real Madrid after LaLiga opener|
|It´s a very special moment – Djokovic revels in Golden Masters achievement|
|Sorrentino thanks Ronaldo for support after injury|
|Twins place Santana on DL with finger injury|
|Yankees´ Gregorius suffers ´pretty significant´ heel bruise|
|Snedeker ends PGA Tour drought with Wyndham Championship win|
|Spalletti unconcerned despite Inter´s underwhelming start|
|Djokovic makes history with Masters clean sweep in Cincinnati|
|Real Madrid 2 Getafe 0: Bale gives Lopetegui first LaLiga win|
19 de agosto 2018
|IndyCar driver Wickens taken to hospital after crash|
|Sherman calls for NFL to scrap ´idiotic´ helmet rule|
|Sassuolo 1 Inter 0: New-look Nerazzurri given early reality check|
|Hughton: Shock United win does not alter scale of Brighton´s task|
|Navas keeps place as Courtois waits on Madrid debut|
|Ndidi signs long-term Leicester City contract|
|Pandya tears through feeble England to put India in command|
|Alonso creates motorsport history with victory at Silverstone|
|Kovacic: Chelsea and Sarri believe in me|
|Brighton loss a big lesson for United – Pogba|
|Mistakes hit United´s confidence - Mourinho|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 3 Manchester United 2: Murray lifts Seagulls to another win over Mourinho|
|Quickfire Moon treble sets up Rhinos win|
|Manchester City celebrate win with Silva´s son|
|Brentford 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0: Maupay stars as Bees buzz by Owls|
|Guardiola delighted with fit and firing Aguero|
|Waring marks 200th event with maiden title in Gothenburg|
|Guardiola dismisses Mourinho´s ´disrespectful´ accusation|
|Hulkenberg proud to survive in F1´s pay driver era|
|It´s here, it´s real, get on with it - Dyche dismisses Europa League excuse|
|Grujic agrees Liverpool extension, joins Hertha on loan|
|Martial starts as Lukaku, Young return for Manchester United|
|Fury-Wilder to be staged in November or December - Warren|
|Manchester City 6 Huddersfield Town 1: Aguero hits hat-trick as champions triumph|
|Burnley 1 Watford 3: Hornets end away day woes as Deeney leads destructive display|
|McFarland cleared to leave Scotland and join Ulster|
|Simeone wants ´only the best´ for Filipe Luis amid PSG links|
|PSG signing Boateng rated ´50-50´ by Bayern president|
|Cipriani a positive influence, insists Gloucester head coach|
|Bayer Leverkusen´s Bailey signs contract extension|
|Jesus and Aguero start for City as Mahrez misses out|
|Federer unsure what to expect from Djokovic duel|
|Chievo goalkeeper suffers broken nose, whiplash in Ronaldo collision|
|Simmons lauds influence of ´big brother´ LeBron|
|PSG´s Cavani selected by Uruguay as Coito fills in for Tabarez|
|Starc leads tributes after ´leader of the pack´ Johnson retires|
|Hazard confirms he is staying at Chelsea this month|
|Liverpool´s Firmino dreaming of Premier League title glory|
|Raiders rock the Roosters as NRL´s top-four battle hots up|
|Erasmus demands improved Springboks|
|Athletics pull even with Astros in AL West|
|Mercurial quick Johnson retires from cricket|
|MLS Review: Royer leaves it late for Red Bulls, Dallas bounce back|
|Crotty concussed, Folau injured|
|DFB president Grindel sorry Ozil felt ´deserted´|
|Busch picks up first win of season in Night Race|
|NASCAR results at Bristol: Kurt Busch picks up first win of season in Night Race|
|Woakes welcomes back ´big-game player´ Stokes|
|´Genius´ Messi still amazes Valverde|
|All Blacks, Springboks await Namibia at Rugby World Cup|
|Federer to face Djokovic after Goffin withdraws|
|Rain halts plays at Wyndham Championship|
|De Gea will extend contract soon, says Mourinho|
|Halep to meet Bertens in Cincinnati final|
|Frampton set for Warrington fight after dominant Windsor Park win|
|Messi makes LaLiga history with Barcelona´s 6000th goal|
|MC Alger defeat throws quarter-final chase wide open|
|Barcelona 3 Deportivo Alaves 0: Messi´s milestone goal sets up victory|
18 de agosto 2018
|Djokovic on course for Masters 1000 history after Cilic victory|
|It´s on! - Wilder fight confirmed after Fury defeats Pianeta|
|Like Cruyff before him, Guardiola favouring Foden´s style over substance|