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Brazil fear Neymar petulance could put a brake on march to World Cup

Tite, the Brazil manager, gives Neymar a warning after PSG’s star player gets red in Marseille followed by yellow against Japan

Not for the first time in recent weeks, Neymar felt suffocated and affronted. It is part and parcel of being a marked man, an unwanted by-product of his lavish gifts. And he reacted. Towards the end of last month, it had been in club colours for Paris Saint-Germain in le classique at Marseille and the result was a red card in the 87th minute. On this occasion, it was in the yellow of Brazil and, once again, there would be a sanction, if not as severe. The weird thing was that when Neymar chased a ball forward in the 55th minute of the friendly against Japan in Lille on Friday, his team were 3-0 up and the atmosphere at a half-empty Stade Pierre Mauroy was hardly the bear pit of the Vélodrome.

Coincidentally – or perhaps not – his adversary was the defender Hiroki Sakai, who plays for Marseille and had been on the Vélodrome pitch when Neymar felt the red mist come down. In that game, having been involved in niggle throughout, Neymar reacted to a trip by the winger Lucas Ocampos by squaring up to him. He would receive a second yellow card.

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