Alan Shearer may not be everyone's favourite World Cup pundit, and he's certainly not going to be getting a Christmas card from Dani Alves, who took exception to Shearer's assessment of Brazil team-mate Fred.
Shearer, working for BBC television during the tournament, told ESPN FC:
I just don't understand why Brazil are still picking him [Fred]. He doesn't move, he doesn't shoot and he's dragging the team down. I don't know if Brazil should change the system or play Neymar as a false nine, but the fact is that Fred is not the answer for what they are doing now.
The criticism was strong, and drew a reaction on Twitter:
Come on Shearer. You can say Fred was crap, but you can't say he wasn't interested. He tried, but was completely inept.— Alex Chick (@alex_eurosport) June 17, 2014
Shearer accusing Fred of not having brains. Irony you cruel mistress #WorldCup2014— grumpynortherncynic (@grumpynorthernc) June 17, 2014
Alves was unimpressed when asked about it.
The Daily Telegraph reports him, describing Shearer's words as "idiotic," and "something to be ashamed of":
Those comments are some of the most idiotic that anyone can ever say. Someone who played football, who knows how difficult it is to be a football player, how difficult it is to beat opponents, compete, score goals, it's a shame for football and a lack of respect for his colleagues that play the game. It's something to be ashamed of.
Brazil have taken control of Group A after two matches, with victory over Cameroon in their final game likely to secure them top spot.
There is no word yet on whether Brazil will make changes after the 0-0 draw with Mexico in the previous match, however—Brazil have so far looked dependent on Neymar for inspiration up front at their home tournament.