Brazil's defensive strength is vital - Neymar

The Barcelona star and team-mate David Luiz believe it is essential to have a solid foundation within the side when they struggle to break down stubborn opposition
Brazil forward Neymar has praised the "vital" strength of his side's defence in the wake of their goalless draw with Mexico in Group A on Tuesday.

Host nation Brazil continued their unbeaten start at the Fifa World Cup with a stalemate against Mexico in Fortaleza - a result that left both teams locked on four points from two games.

Keep up with all the latest news from Brazil and get involved in the debate on Twitter with our new World Cup Social Hub
A free-flowing brand of attacking football has been synonymous to Brazilian culture but that has changed under coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who has emphasised the importance of a strong defensive core through the likes of captain Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Paulinho and Luis Gustavo.

That change in system and formation has seen Brazil keep seven clean sheets in their past nine games.

Star striker Neymar, who has already scored two goals at the showpiece event, believes Brazil's defence will eventually prove to be crucial to their hopes of success.

"It's become a truly vital characteristic of ours. We've been doing this since the Confederations Cup," he told

"Even when we're not managing to score, we can't go switching off at the back. It gives us more chance of starting attacks too: if we're all on our on our guard at all times, we can try and win the ball back as quickly as possible."

David Luiz, meanwhile, has praised Neymar and Oscar for the way they have improved the defensive aspect of their game during their time in Europe, claiming such work-rate is essential when they have an off-day in attack.

"It's part of our make-up now," Luiz told

"It's a feature of modern football and it's something our team does very well. Everybody attacks and everyone defends.

"It's something that's evolved over time and which players like Oscar and Neymar, who play in Europe, have got to grips with well. There are days when the ball just won't go in, it can happen.

"But, if we don't let the opposition score, then we're already taking a big step towards winning the game, one way or another."