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Scolari praises Neymar but says striker not irreplaceable

Associated Press

3/26/2013 4:35:33 PM

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari says he isn't afraid of dropping Neymar from Brazil's starting lineup if the star striker fails to find his best form.

Scolari is continuing to support Neymar despite another lacklustre match by the youngster in Brazil's 1-1 draw with Russia in a friendly in London on Wednesday, but the coach says he won't hesitate replacing him if he feels it will be good for the national team.

Neymar again failed to provide the spark Brazilian fans expect from him and was mostly ineffective against Russia, but Scolari says he was not totally unhappy with the forward's performance and said he helped tactically.

The coach reminded the Santos player, though, that popularity alone is not enough to guarantee him a spot in the national team.