Neymar hits back at Lugano

Belo Horizonte: Neymar has hit back at claims of Uruguay captain Diego Lugano that he is "talented at winning free-kicks".

Speaking after Brazil`s 2-1 victory over Uruguay in Wednesday`s Confederations Cup semi-final at the Mineirao Stadium, Neymar moved to avoid a verbal confrontation with the centre-back, reports Xinhua.

"He has the right to say what he wants, it won`t affect me. I don`t pay any attention to it. What is important is that I help my team to win," the 21-year-old Barcelona striker said.

After the match, Lugano stood by the accusations he made Tuesday. When asked about a statement from Brazil`s football confederation (CBF) condemning Lugano`s comments, the Paris Saint-Germain defender expressed bemusement.

"Do you think I care about what the CBF or the media say? It doesn`t interest me. I say what I think without worrying about the reaction of others."

Neymar failed to score for the first time in the tournament Wednesday but played a role in both of Brazil`s goals. Fred`s opener came after a Neymar shot was blocked by Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera while he provided the assist for Paulinho`s late winner with a precise corner-kick.

Neymar said Brazil`s squad would keep a keen eye Thursday`s other semi-final between Spain and Italy in Fortaleza. But he declined to nominate a preferred rival for Sunday`s final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

"You can`t choose who you play against. They are both difficult sides. We are going to be watching the match on a screen and try to be as prepared as possible," Neymar said.