Neymar criticises Copa America

Copa America

Brazil superstar Neymar is among a number of footballing personalities, including Lionel Messi, who have criticised the playing conditions at the Copa America. Here's what they had to say!

Neymar has joined a growing number of disgruntled voices in expressing his disappointment with the quality of the pitches for the showpiece in Brazil.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the condition of some of the pitches at the 2021 Copa America

According to the Daily Mirror, the Selecao forward took to social media on Monday to post a picture of a dirt pitch next to one of the field at London's Wembley Stadium, and posed a question to his followers.

"Where will the next Brazil game take place?" Neymar wrote sarcastically on the Instagram Stories setting.

Earlier this month, he posted a picture on Instagram of himself celebrating his goal in Brazil's 4-0 victory over Peru at the Estadio Olimpico Nilton Santos, and wrote wiht a hint of irony: "Celebrating yesterday's goal on the 'beautiful lawn' of Engenhao."

Messi also expressed his dissatisfaction with the fields at the tournament after Argentina's 2-0 win over Venezuela.

"In truth, the pitches are shameful. It is hard to control the ball and carry it," he said, according to Goal. "The ball looked like a rabbit, it goes all over the place with this pitch. All we can do is adapt.

"The pitches are awful. That doesn't help keep possession, you need a second longer, it bounces poorly, you cannot lead. But we played a complete game and we were able to win."

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Brazil coach Tite has also weighed in on the quality of the pitches being used at the Copa.

"I am not going to call it horrible but it's terrible for playing football on, it ruins the spectacle," he said. "Those that want to create aren't able. It's unacceptable that two top-quality teams have to play on a pitch in these conditions.

"The game does not flow as quickly as it should because players need two or three touches. If we want to put on a great show, then we have to give the players the tools."

The Copa America has seen more fouls being committed than the 2020 UEFA European Championship, and that is seemingly at least partly down to the poor pitches.

"The quality of the pitch is poor, the grass is higher, there are more holes," Arnaldo Cezar Coelho, the Brazilian referee at the 1982 FIFA World Cup final, told Reuters. "That makes the ball more alive and that leads to more bodily contact and fouls."

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