Wednesday, July 28, 2021
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“Neymar smart to protect himself from injury”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp defended Neymar’s play-acting at the World Cup and believes it will be impossible to completely snuff out the Brazilian’s threat when Paris Saint-Germain visit Anfield in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Klopp insisted Neymar wasn’t fully fit in Russia after breaking a bone in his foot in February that forced him to miss the rest of the club season with the French giants before the World Cup.

However, the world’s most expensive player earned few plaudits for his performances and became a figure of fun for his constant feigning of injury as Brazil crashed out at the quarter-finals to Belgium.

“When I saw a few games at the World Cup and I know people are talking about that and it looked like he made a bit more of situations. But it’s a normal reaction because players are going for him, that’s the truth, and he wants to protect himself. I understand that,” said Klopp on Monday.

“I’m not sure it’s possible to avoid his quality 100 per cent. He’s a fantastic footballer, outstanding.”

“He was not fit at the World Cup and he tried to take the responsibility for his country. Belgium played an outstanding game against Brazil, but if Neymar is fit, Brazil wins it. That’s how it is.

“He was injured and so he had to save himself a bit. He’s not a person who wants to act because if you are like that you cannot play football.

“He got rested at the weekend so he will be 100 per cent fresh, he’s not injured any more. We will see the full package Neymar.”

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