Dunga: Neymar will not be a star until he wins the World Cup

The new Brazil coach hopes to see the Barcelona forward reach another level with the Selecao and insists that criticism of predecessor Luiz Felipe Scolari is unfair
Barcelona forward Neymar will not be a true star until he wins the World Cup, according to Brazil coach Dunga.

The 22-year-old was in inspired form during the tournament this summer until a back injury in the quarter-finals brought his campaign to a premature end.

The former Santos forward enjoyed an inconsistent first season in La Liga in 2013-14 prior to the World Cup finals and, while accepting that he is the country's top player, Dunga does not believe Neymar to be a star of the game just yet.

"He's the best player in Brazil but no star. To have star status, you have to have world champion credentials on your back," Dunga told Epoca of the Barca man.

"But we are going to work to make sure that, when he's with the Selecao, Neymar performs above the level that defines a star."

Dunga also feels that criticism of Luiz Felipe Scolari after Brazil's 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Germany in the semi-finals was unjust.

"It is easy to say [critical things], to point out the faults in idols," he observed. "[Scolari] is a winner, competent and principled. Brazil conceded the first goal and Germany didn't allow them to breathe."

The former World Cup-winning midfielder added that he will look to incorporate young talent and experience in his upcoming Brazil squads for games against Colombia and Ecuador in September.

"We need a mix of youth and veterans to sharpen competitiveness," he explained.