SOCCEROO Archie Thompson has tried to play down a light-hearted spat with Neymar after the Australian striker suggested the Barcelona and Brazil playmaker was 'over-rated'.
Thompson was quoted in media reports ahead of Australia's clash with Brazil in Brasilia as saying Neymar was 'not as good as people say' before saying Chelsea playmaker Oscar was a better player.
When quizzed about the Melbourne Victory striker's comments at a press conference, Neymar was quick to laugh them off.
"What's his name?" the 21-year-old cheekily asked. "He can say what he likes. I don't know him so I can't say anything good or bad.
"I hope he plays well but that our team beats his on Saturday."
Thompson took to Twitter on Friday morning to downplay the situation.
"It was the jetlag or the Brazilian reporter didn't understand my Portuguese," he tweeted by way of explanation.
Oscar was also questioned about Thompson's opinion and he was understandably more pleased than his Brazilian teammate.
"I'm very happy for that comment," he said.
"It's nice to have that recognition for the work I've put in for Chelsea and the national team. The most important thing is winning and being able to contribute the best I can."
The friendly will be the first meeting between the two sides since the group stage of the 2006 World Cup in Germany where Brazil were made to work hard for a 2-0 victory.
Oscar stressed the Selecao were expecting another stern test in this match, with Luiz Felipe Scolari's side particularly wary of Australia's physicality.
"They have a very strong team, physically there are going to be a test," Oscar said.
"I have spoken about the game with him (Chelsea teammate Mark Schwarzer) and we've had a bit of a laugh. He is a great player and we know it's going to be very difficult to put the ball past him.
"We have to work hard and find ways to combat their defence. We know Australia are going to mark tightly, particularly in the centre of defence, which means we might have to play wider to create space."
(c) Sportal Australia
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