Neymar Caps 'Killed' Bernard and Brazil in World Cup Semi-Final, Says New Chief

Brazil's cap tribute to Neymar ahead of the 2014 World Cup semi-final "killed" the man who replaced him, Bernard, and the team as a whole.

That's the view of Gilmar Rinaldi, who has subsequently been installed as the team's technical director after Brazil bombed out of the tournament in the semi-finals.

The caps were a talking point as the nation as a whole struggled to come to terms with the back injury that ended Neymar's tournament prematurely.

Rinaldi told SporTV (as recorded by Goal):

Brazil were missing our best player, we were experiencing a difficult time and we were about to face Germany - our most difficult game to date in that World Cup. ... I would not have agreed to an action like those hats.

What must Bernard have thought going in for him? How must he have felt? It's like saying: 'It's your turn, you will win the game for us.' The game was already difficult enough.

It was a cute homage and Neymar is a wonderful lad against whom I have nothing but giving Neymar strength at that time was wrong. It should have been about the collective.

On a matchday, we needed warriors to be focused. That's not why we lost, but the spirit needed wasn't there. The hats killed Bernard.

In addition to the caps, Brazil captain David Luiz and goalkeeper Julio Cesar held up Neymar's shirt during the national anthem.


New manager Dunga has also been critical of Neymar's headwear, but for very different reasons.

During a recent press conference, the 1994 World Cup winner criticised the Barcelona star for wearing his own cap rather than the official Brazil one and vowed to make sure that his national team players are more about the team than individuals. 

[Goal]

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