Lucio slams Brazil’s below par Copa America performances

BUENOS AIRES,  (Reuters) – Captain Lucio slammed  Brazil’s Copa America performances yesterday saying the holders  needed to improve their commitment in the colours of the five  times world champions.

Brazil have drawn both their Group B matches so far, leaving  them equal second in the standings with Paraguay two points  behind surprise leaders Venezuela.

“No-one is happy with these results,” Lucio told reporters  at Brazil’s training base outside the capital after Saturday’s  2-2 draw with Paraguay in Cordoba.

“We know the quality of players we have in this squad, we  must show much more, more seriousness and more commitment to the  Brazilian national team shirt,” he said.

Lucio

“I think the badge on the shirt is more important than the  name on the back,” said the 33-year-old central defender, a  World Cup winner in 2002 and one of the few survivors from  Brazil’s 2010 team in coach Mano Menezes’s young squad.

“Each one of us has to looking for an improvement and  understand that you have to give a bit more of yourself because  we’re not getting the results.

“We know we have to put a bit more energy, more seriousness  and competitiveness into our game. Everyone will have to show  something with their performance because this is the Brazil  team.”

Brazil’s performances have been fitful, only occasionally  showing what Menezes wants in his efforts to return to their  traditional attacking game – usually when playmaker Paulo  Henrique Ganso is involved.

Teenage forward Neymar, Ganso’s club mate for newly crowned  South American champions Santos, has shown little of the sparkle  that won him a place in the team although Menezes defended him  after a lukewarm performance against Paraguay.

“He is one of the greats hopes we have. He’s already a  reality for Santos and he showed good form in some friendlies  with the national team,” Menezes said.

“But we have to wait for him and this tournament also is  much harder than I expected.”
Menezes said the 19-year-old must learn to release the ball  more quickly and not go solo too much.
“Against Paraguay his way was usually blocked by three  opponents. He needs to realize that more quickly because behind  those defenders there’s lots of space (others can run into).”

Brazil meet Ecuador In Cordoba today (0045 GMT  Thursday) looking to secure a place in the quarter-finals, while  Paraguay meet Venezuela in Salta (2215).

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