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Neymar named on merit, says Scolari

15 May 2013 02:31

Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari has defended Neymar amid claims the forward has been under-performing at club level.

The Santos star was included in Scolari's squad for the Confederations Cup next month, and the 64-year-old insists his domestic form merited selection.

"Neymar has been playing well," he told reporters.

"I understand some people are going to disagree. He's playing very well from our point of view. It's what we expect."

Scolari alluded to Ronaldinho's exclusion from the squad - without directly referencing him - and suggested the omission stemmed from a belief that the former Barcelona forward could no longer prove an important addition to the team.

"Many times we're criticised for picking A, B or C. I was criticised several times for having Costinha on my team when I was in Portugal," he said.

"Costinha gave me everything I needed in a defensive midfielder, and he wasn't unanimous at his own club either. That's the criteria I adopt here, how important a player can be for the team."

Kaka was another high-profile omission from the squad, but the 2002 World Cup-winning boss refused to shut the door on handing recalls to veterans of previous squads in the future.

Scolari added: "History is not over for the veterans. This list is for the Confederations Cup only. We have a project to watch other players who might add more to our group to the World Cup.

"After the CC, we'll be going to Europe, to places like Russia, Ukraine, England, to watch players from there. We'll see how this one goes and who else can add more to us.

"To everyone who was left out: play, show us your football, prove you can add to the squad. They could be planting a little seed for the future."

Scolari's men begin preparations for the Confederations Cup by facing England in a friendly on June 3, before turning their attention towards Japan in the country's first fixture of the tournament.

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