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Fans have theory as to why Neymar didn't take a penalty in Brazil loss

Ryan Sidle

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Fans have theory as to why Neymar didn't take a penalty in Brazil loss

Fans rushed to criticise Neymar, after the Brazil star didn't step up to take a penalty during their World Cup quarter final defeat to Croatia.

Brazil were favourites to win the World Cup from the beginning, with Neymar expected to finally set to right the ills of the tournament in their country eight years ago.

On Friday night, he looked to have helped book the Selecao's place in the semi final in Qatar, scoring a brilliant goal in extra time.

The goal was his 77th goal for his country, meaning he officially equalled Pele's record for the South Americans, although they claim the three time World Cup winner has 95 goals.

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Having opened the scoring in injury time at the end of the first half of extra time, it looked like Brazil were going to make it through to the last four.

However, Croatia are the kings of the additional 30 minutes and Bruno Petkovic equalised with just three minutes left to take the game to penalties.

Having already defeated Japan in a penalty shoot-out in the previous round, the Europeans once again showed their prowess from 12 yards, winning 4-2.

With Brazil missing twice, and Croatia scoring all four of theirs, Neymar didn't even get to take his attempt, as he waited in line to be the fifth taker.

That didn't go down well with fans, who called him out for wanting to be the 'hero' in the shootout, which of course never happened.

"I don’t understand the thinking behind putting better penalty-takers last," Si Lloyd said on Twitter.

"They *might* get the glory, but it’s either stupidity or supreme arrogance to think it’ll turn out like that. Make them go first and score. If, as some think, Neymar has insisted on that, zero sympathy."

"I will never understand why a team’s best penalty taker will take the 5th penalty. Neymar should’ve taken the first one, it would’ve changed the shootout for them," another fan added.

Another feel went on similar lines, claiming the best taker should always step up first, saying, "I will die on this hill…

"Your number one penalty taker should ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS step up for the first pen of a shootout. Always.

"They (Neymar, Cristiano, Salah), reserve themselves for the fifth pen because it’s most likely to be the glory pen."

"Having Neymar, your best penalty taker, not able to take one is just madness," a fourth opined.

"Sorry, but Neymar not taking a penalty there is inexcusable. Waiting for the fifth penalty to give his ego a massive stroke - not for me, Clive," a fifth surmised.

Tite removed most of his first choice forwards during the game, leaving very few obvious options for the manager in the shoot-out.

Real Madrid's Rodrygo, on as a substitute, missed the sides first effort, leaving them behind their opponents from the off.

Casemiro and Pedro both scored but Neymar's PSG teammate Marquinhos then hit the inside of the post, with the ball bouncing back out, to kick off wild scenes by the Europeans.

The problem for Neymar, as with many of the players who step up to take the fifth penalty, is that the order can't be changed, it's likely he would have stepped up earlier once Rodrygo missed.

Didier Drogba was famously the hero for Chelsea when he chose to take his spot kick fifth in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 2012.

But it's not necessarily about being the 'hero,' with the fifth penalty always going to be loaded with pressure if it gets that far.

Of course it's a gamble that it will, but it seems harsh to lay the blame on the forward, or anyone else who goes fifth.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Twitter

Topics: Neymar, Brazil, Football World Cup, Paris Saint-Germain, Croatia

Ryan Sidle
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