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The fullback has moved to explain his comments after Brazil's 1-0 win over South Africa, demanding that the fans support their young squad rather than jeer them

Dani Alves has called for the Brazilian fans to be patient with their national side and understand that it is a work in progress.

The right back's comments, on the back of Brazil's tame 1-0 win over South Africa in Sao Paulo, were designed to protect the likes of Neymar, Oscar and Lucas in the two-year run up to the 2014 World Cup.

"I have nothing against the fans of Sao Paulo," the Barcelona defender told Copa Do Mundo. "I meant only that our best player [Neymar], our franchise player, our player that can make the difference, needs to be handled with care. Supporters have every right to complain, but they need to understand that our best player has to be treated with more care.

"It's a very young group that has had to deal with too much pressure. As one more experienced, I have to act to protect them...[Fans] have to cheer them instead of criticizing them."

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