Neymar rubbishes Lugano diving claims

The forward defended himself after helping his nation reach the Confederations Cup final on Wednesday
Neymar has strongly refuted claims of diving from Diego Lugano after Brazil’s 2-1 victory over Uruguay on Wednesday.

The Selecao recorded a 2-1 victory over their South American rivals in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup thanks to goals from Fred and Paulinho, either side of an Edinson Cavani strike, to reach the final of the competition for a third consecutive time. 

But the Barcelona forward was unhappy with comments made by Uruguay defender Lugano prior to the game after he claimed that the former Santos player was guilty of diving.

"He who has a mouth speaks what he wants. This will not hurt me. What matters to me most is to help my team-mates and the team win," he told reporters.

The 21-year-old then acknowledged just how close the contest was, with nerves appearing to get the better of Brazil in the early stages of the game in front of an expectant Belo Horizonte crowd.

“It was typical of a semi-final game. We managed to control the game. We knew it would be hard but we got the win and that was the most important thing," he added.

Brazil striker Fred was also in high spirits after his side’s victory and defended Neymar over accusations of simulation.

"The Uruguayans talked a lot before the game, some [Lugano] attacked Neymar. We beat them on the pitch, and that's our answer," he told reporters after the match.

“Criticism? As I always say, I only respond on the pitch, but the crowd today was great with me. It was amazing.”