Lugano has a less than complimentary view of the Brazilian.
Ahead of Uruguay’s Confederations Cup semi final with hosts Brazil, captain Diego Lugano has slammed Barcelona striker Neymar for diving and cheating.
Lugano was not pulling any punches as he gave his opinion of the 21-year-old – a recent £48.6m transfer to the Nou Camp – as well as criticising Brazil’s style of play under manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.
“Neymar is lightweight – he falls to the ground and fools the referee,” the 32-year-old was quoted on goal.com.
“He can feign a foul and we must be watchful that nobody is fooled by his ability.
“Brazil have abandoned their beautiful football style. They now hit people. They are a tough team and they are tactical.”
It is certainly not a coded message from Lugano as he not so subtly labels Neymar a cheat and the comments from the defender are sure to add fuel to an already fearsome fire, as the South American rivals go head-to-head for a place in the final.
The Paris Saint-Germain man, who spent last season on-loan at Malaga, also had some thoughts for the referee ahead of the game.
“The Chilean ref assignment is a coincidence. He will be under bigger pressure – I just hope he makes no mistakes.”
Anticipation was already high for the tie, with Uruguay and Brazil probably as evenly matched as they have been for some years and this latest spat should only add to the competitiveness.
The Brazilians are using the Confederations Cup as a dry run for the 2014 World Cup being hosted in the country and the nation topped their group to book their place in the semis.
Uruguay meanwhile finished behind world and European champions Spain in their group, with the Spaniards facing Italy in the other semi-final on Thursday.