World Cup 2010: Brazil midfielder Felipe Melo - 'If I had meant to hurt Arjen Robben, he would have had a broken leg'

Juve man hits out over red card incident...
Brazil midfielder Felipe Melo was in a bitter mood after seeing the Selecao unexpectedly eliminated from World Cup 2010 by the Netherlands on Friday.

The five-time world champions came into their quarter-final clash with the Oranje as favourites, yet despite being 1-0 up at the break through Robinho, they conceded twice in the second half to lose a dramatic match 2-1.

It was an afternoon to forget for Melo, who scored an own goal in the 53rd minute and got sent off 20 minutes later for a stamp on Dutch winger Arjen Robben.

However, the 27-year-old defender believes Robben did him no favours in front of the officials.

"[Arjen] Robben kept playing up. If I meant to hurt him, he would have left the pitch. I have enough strength to break his leg," he told reporters.

"Every time he was touched he would jump and roll over on the floor. I just wanted to get the ball and start our counter-attack.

"It's different to be sent-off for punching or spitting at someone than for a normal challenge.

"The challenge that Pepe made on me was much more worse. This depends on the interpretation of the referee and I think he was too harsh. It's tough now to call home and hear your son crying."

After the South Americans topped Group G with ease, and comfortably saw off Chile 3-0 in the last round, Melo admits leaving South Africa early is difficult to accept.

"It's tough to believe that a group like this will not win the coveted title. Maybe this was the most united group that the Selecao has ever had. Everyone was focused on working with a lot of commitment," he added.

"We had the opportunity in the first-half to score two or three goals. I apologise to the Brazilian fans for the elimination. We wanted to be crowned champions. It was maybe the toughest year of my career, because at Juventus we did not reach our goals either.

"For the first goal, Julio [Cesar] was behind me and I don't remember if the ball touched me or him, just the bad feeling of seeing it going in.

"For the second goal, we shouldn't have allowed a short player like [Wesley] Sneijder to head the ball inside the box."

In his post-match comments, Real Madrid star Kaka broadly echoed Melo's thoughts about the sadness in Brazil's camp.

"We are feeling this defeat very much," he said. "Nobody is feeling it more than the players. The World Cup is like that: great expectations are created.

"Now we have four years for another Cup. I don't know what will happen then, I don't know if I will be in another World Cup. I fought hard to be in this World Cup and I know that this has not been acknowledged.

"I wanted more and I wanted to fight for the sixth title. Several times, I thought I was not going to be in the World Cup because of my injury. But my team-mates gave me the strength and support to be here.

"I have a strong connection with the Selecao. This is by far my saddest moment in the Selecao. Four years from now is too far to start planning. This is a moment to reflect on things in my life and my career. I know the pain that the fans are feeling."

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