MX23RW : Saturday, July 21 19:05:41

Glenn Hoddle: 'Brazil ordinary without Neymar'

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle claims that Brazil would be "a very ordinary team" without Barcelona attacker Neymar.

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle believes that Brazil would be "a very ordinary team" without Barcelona attacker Neymar.

Neymar, 22, scored twice as Brazil opened their World Cup Group A campaign with a 3-1 win over Croatia last Thursday.

However, Hoddle believes that the host nation are too reliant on their leading attacker.

"If Neymar isn't pulling the strings then Brazil look a very ordinary team. This leaves the tournament wide open and Brazil will need to improve a lot if they are going to be successful against better teams in this tournament – starting [on Tuesday] against Mexico," he wrote on William Hill.

"The sign of a truly great player is that you don't actually have to be at your best on occasions but you can still affect the game and you could see the belief in Neymar when he stepped up to take the penalty.

"He knew he was going to score (although it shouldn't have been a penalty in the first place) but there is an awful lot of pressure on his young shoulders for Brazil to go all the way in this tournament."

Neymar has scored 33 times in 50 games for his country.

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Neymar of Brazil takes a penalty kick in the second half during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014
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