Lugano: Neymar likes to fool referees

The veteran defender hit out at the new Barcelona signing ahead of Uruguay's Confederations Cup semi-final clash with Brazil and warned his team-mates not to be fooled by him
Uruguay captain Diego Lugano has stoked the flames ahead of his side’s Confederations Cup semi-final against Brazil by criticising Neymar.

The 32-year-old also hit out at the playing style of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side in what was a controversial press conference ahead of the clash in Belo Horizonte.

"Neymar is lightweight – he falls to the ground and fools the referee,” Lugano told reporters.

4/1 Neymar is 4/1 with Paddy Power to open the scoring against Uruguay
“He can feign a foul and we must be watchful that nobody is fooled by his ability.

“The Chilean ref assignment is a coincidence. He will be under bigger pressure - I just hope he makes no mistakes.

"Brazil have abandoned their beautiful football style. They now hit people. They are a tough team and they are tactical.”

Uruguay go into the all-South American clash as underdogs but Lugano remains hopeful his side can cause an upset and go on to face either Spain or Italy in the final.

He continued: "Our history shows we can fight well in tough matches. We have brought Uruguay's team back to where it should be.

“We have the right to dream of beating Brazil. They are evolving well, but we have the football that allows us to dream.

“We know each other well. We are proud to play this game against Brazil, plus potentially Spain or Italy."

National team coach Oscar Tabarez was a late arrival to the press conference and the defender was asked to comment on how well he felt Brazil had coped in hosting the event one year from the World Cup.

Lugano said: "Brazil is a large country with lots of traffic in big cities, that's just the way it is. I respect that.

"We have been well received here, although there were logistical issues in Recife, with the training facilities far from the hotel."