Brazil star Neymar blasts English referee

Maya Yoshida and Neymar Japan Brazil

Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar was far from impressed with the refereeing of Martin Atkinson, feeling he wasn't protected against Chile.

Chile and Brazil certainly weren't holding back from a little of the rough stuff, as they transferred their South American rivalry to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Officiating the game was English referee Martin Atkinson, who produced five yellow cards for Brazil and two for Chile, as he tried to clamp down on the persistent fouling between the two sides.

In the end, the physical duel was settled by a right-footed finish from Hoffenheim midfielder, Roberto Firmino, as he received a lovely through ball from right-back Danilo, rounded Barcelona 'keeper Claudio Bravo and applied the finish.

After the game and in the mixed zone at the Emirates, a frustrated Neymar was left particularly angered by what he considered poor refereeing from English match official, Martin Atkinson, in comments via Mundo Deportivo:

"You can't call that football. That wasn't football today, you can't call it that. It was more like the Ultimate Fighting Championship out there," he is quoted as saying.

What irked the Brazilian star most of all though, was Chile midfielder Gary Medel stamping on his leg, which Martin Atkinson appeared to miss.

Neymar lamented: "What can you do? The referee was there, he didn't see it, so there's little we can do. Aggression is part of the game and I guess you just have to get on with it, but there were four officials out there who should have got a grip on such actions."

As for all the yellow cards handed out, Neymar added: "I just thing the toughness both teams have shown is a part of the rivalry between our two national teams." Something he didn't think the English referee perhaps understood.

Fans at the Emirates were eagerly waiting to see how Neymar would perform on English soil, but the 23-year-old didn't offer the best of displays. He admitting that he hadn't excelled due to how physically tough the game turned out to be: "I couldn't really do anything out there, either defending or getting stuck into our rival going forward."

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