Brazil full-back Dani Alvez has pleaded with fans to get behind the national side rather than being critical of a young squad.
A 1-0 victory over South Africa was greeted with audible boos by the crowd in Sao Paulo, which Alves believes can only be detrimental to the team.
He told Copa Do Mundo: "I have nothing against the fans of Sao Paulo. I meant only that our best player (Neymar), our franchise player, our player that can make the difference, needs to be handled with care.
"Supporters have every right to complain, but they need to understand that our best player has to be treated with more care.
"It's a very young group that has had to deal with too much pressure. As one more experienced, I have to act to protect them. Fans have to cheer them instead of criticising them."
Brazil play China on Monday as they continue to build towards hosting the World Cup in 2014.