The Brazil vs Chile friendly was predictably physical – especially in the first half – and a few parties were none too pleased when the final whistle came and Brazil came out victorious by a 1-0 score.
The match’s biggest talking point was not the goal though, it was a first half tackle that saw Chilean midfielder/defender Gary Medel barrel through Neymar, followed up by what appeared to be an intentional stamp on Neymar’s calf. The Brazilian forward writhed in pain but referee Martin Atkinson did no more than call a common foul.
Needless to say, the afflicted was unhappy following the conclusion of the match.
“That can’t be considered part of the game, no,” Neymar declared to media postmatch. “If we say that is part of the game, then the name [of the sport] is wrong. We can’t call it football — we should call it UFC. But what can we do? The referee didn’t see it. He’s there but he didn’t see it. There are four officials and nobody saw anything.”
Medel has always been known as a brazen tackler, but while Neymar had a point singling out that one event, zooming out to see the match as a whole the Brazilians had little to complain about. Atkinson blew his whistle a whopping 47 times for fouls over the course of the match, 32 of which went against Brazil. Meanwhile, Chile owned 63% of possession, but still completed 27 successful tackles to Brazil’s 17.
Atkinson ended up handing out seven yellow cards, including five for Brazilian players, but Neymar still thinks at least one more should have been issued to his opponent. “I am the one who suffers the pain,” the 23-year-old striker said. “I think it is because of the rivalry [between Brazil and Chile], and you end up suffering because of it. We have someone on the pitch who’s in charge, and he has to issue a punishment. You have to have an eye on these things.”