Dani Alves thinks Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar was harshly judged during the World Cup and has blasted those who criticised him as "weak".
Neymar had a race against time to be ready for the finals after breaking his foot in February, an injury which initially looked likely to rule him out.
He managed to return to fitness before the big kick-off and soaked up the attention in Russia, but not always for good reasons, as he was frequently ridiculed for his theatrics and behaviour on the pitch.
Neymar's underwhelming performance as Brazil were eliminated by Belgium in the quarter-finals made matters worse, but Alves thinks the criticism was exaggerated.
"I think so [it was over the top]," Alves told reporters at an auction and gala hosted by Neymar.
9 - Most chances created for a specific teammate at the 2018 #WorldCup— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 15, 2018
9 - Neymar to Coutinho
7 - Kieran Trippier to Harry Maguire
6 - Kevin De Bruyne to Eden Hazard
"Everything Neymar does turns into news. If he gets emotional, they criticise. If he colours his hair, they criticise. I want to see these people in Neymar's place.
"We have to focus on the things that make us mature and that help us become a real man. The rest is only silly things.
"I wish everyone who talked about Neymar would do things like he does here [the auction event].
"Criticising is a weapon of the weak. I believe that we football players always strive to do the best for the group and for our team-mates.
"Those who know Neymar know his great quality and how special he is. And I insist again, we have to take care of players like that, they illuminate football. It's players like him that make football have any sense.
"But as I said, criticising Neymar and players of that level is easy; what's difficult is to do what they do."
19. November 2018
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|Martinez laments loss of control by Belgium|
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|Luis Enrique delighted with attitude of Spain´s squad|
|Stevens tells Celtics to get ´tougher´|
|Griezmann: Being Messi´s lieutenant played a part in rejecting Barcelona|
|Curry proud of how Warriors handled Green-Durant incident|
|Courtois: Belgium thought Nations League job was done|
18. November 2018
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|Robben dismisses Bayern title talk|
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|Switzerland 5 Belgium 2: Seferovic treble crowns incredible comeback|
|Titans DC Pees taken to hospital during Colts game|
|Spain 1 Bosnia-Herzegovina 0: Debutant Mendez spares Morata´s blushes|
|Peterson goes sixth on rushing touchdowns list|
|Titans QB Mariota suffers elbow injury|
|Djokovic hails much-improved Zverev|
|Arnautovic refuses to discuss West Ham future after Austria win|
|Redskins QB Smith carted off after gruesome ankle injury|
|Jaguars shut down Jalen Ramsey trade rumours|
|Classy Zverev revels in victory, hails defeated Djokovic|
|Forget the Nations League was ever invented, jokes Northern Ireland boss O´Neill|
|Magnificent Zverev claims ATP Finals title|
|Mahrez double fires Algeria to 2019 AFCON|
|Mbappe hoping for French winner of Ballon d´Or|
|Northern Ireland 1 Austria 2: Last-gasp winner denies hosts maiden Nations League point|
|Teenager admits assaulting Wales great Thomas|
|Browns deny Condoleezza Rice is candidate for head coaching job|
|Koeman: Netherlands not favourites for Germany clash|
|Dalic ´not sad´ but blames fatigue for Croatia relegation|
|Proud Southgate hails England hero Kane as world´s best goalscorer|
|Last-gasp Exeter penalty try shatters Bristol|
|Mbappe dismisses talk of Cavani-Neymar rift|
|Keita will do ´great things´ for Liverpool – Mane|
|Mourinho needs time to fix Manchester United - Veron|
|Southgate sees progress as England reward loyal support|
|Miller hungry to ´knock out a Brit´ after Dinu demolition|
|Yasir, Hasan put Pakistan in control with five-wicket hauls|
|England´s resilience delights Kane as Three Lions secure Nations League Finals spot|
|Kane proves Nations League importance to England in Wembley decider|
|Muller, Hummels still important for Germany, says Low|
|Tevez in line for start in Copa Libertadores final second leg|
|England 2 Croatia 1: Kane able to secure Nations League Finals spot|
|It doesn´t sound real - Molinari stunned by 2018 exploits|
|Wales legend Thomas victim of alleged homophobic attack|
|Marquez crashes again as Dovizioso wins rain-interrupted Valencia GP|
|Warriors owner denies taking sides following Green-Durant spat|
|Alisson can become a global great, says Dida|
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|Teen driver ´fine´ after sustaining spinal fracture in F3 crash|
|Willett wins first title since Masters triumph, Molinari tops Race to Dubai standings|
|Southgate overcomes ´stigma´ of being sacked to thrive with England|
|Anthony to Lakers ´not a question for myself´, says LeBron James|
|Warriors´ Stephen Curry staying ´cautious´ with injury recovery|
|Gunter hopes Bale can help family jet in to witness Wales record|
|Root pleased to practice what he preached|
|Tianjin Quanjian threaten action after Modeste returns to Cologne|
|I had to stop Kemba getting 70! – Jimmy Butler reflects on dramatic game-winner|
|Molinari wins Race to Dubai|
|Rooney: Some ex-players can´t come to terms with England doing well|
|In a spin: England´s win against Sri Lanka sets new record|
|Ogier wins sixth straight WRC title|
|Rogic, Kruse to miss Socceroos´ Lebanon friendly|
|Joerger has Kings´ ´full support´, says GM Divac|
|England seal series win over Sri Lanka|
|Butler´s heroics spoil Walker´s 60-point game as 76ers beat Hornets|