South American Football - Neymar named Brazil captain, replaces Thiago Silva

Neymar has been named Brazil captain by returning manager Dunga for Friday's friendly with Colombia, taking the armband from Thiago Silva.

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South American Football - Neymar named Brazil captain, replaces Thiago Silva
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Brazil's Neymar (Reuters)

The Barcelona forward, 22, helped Brazil reach the latter stages at the World Cup, but a back injury curtailed his tournament before the hosts crashed out with a humiliating 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semi-finals.

PSG defender Silva, who was captain under Luiz Felipe Scolari, is not part of the squad for the friendly.

"It has already been decided, [Neymar will be captain]," Dunga told a press conference in Miami.

"He's a player with a lot of quality, despite his age is experienced. The captain has to set the standard for the others.

"Neymar has responded very well to it. He is a player who likes challenges and likes to win. We talked to him when we first broached the subject and we told him what we wanted. We told him about the advantages and the disadvantages, about the history and responsibility the shirt brings."

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2014Brazil's David Luiz holds up the jersey of Neymar, as the Brazil team stand for the anthem, before the 2014 …

OUR VIEW

It’s a risky and unnecessary move. Much was made of Neymar’s absence prior to the Germany mauling at the World Cup, but it turned out that Brazil missed Thiago Silva’s presence in defence more than their attacking talisman.

Neymar coped admirably with the intense pressure thrust upon him by an entire nation this summer, but having to lead team-mates with far more experience is a completely different challenge.

He’s a creative forward who should be left to play on instinct and not have to bellow orders and team-mates and plot how Brazil can edge the overall tactical battle. He clearly has the respect of his team-mates – just rewatch the national anthem from the Germany encounter if in doubt – but there are wiser alternatives currently.

At just 22, Neymar’s still developing – will have good games and bad games – and does not need the preventable added pressure.

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