Brazil Coach Luis Felipe Scolari has categorically denied reports that he asked Barcelona not to play Neymar against Atletico Madrid this weekend.
The 22-year-old forward is still recovering from a foot injury but is hoping to be fit in time for the La Liga title decider at Camp Nou on Saturday.
The tactician was reported to have wanted Neymar, who forms a key part of his World Cup plans, to sit out the crunch encounter but today rubbished the rumours and clarified his position.
“I don’t just want him to play, I want Barca to be champions,” Scolari is quoted as saying in a statement by the Brazilian Football Association.
“Winning the League would improve his morale and his confidence, and with that the Brazilian team would also benefit.
“In addition, him playing would mean that he would be able to come into our squad with more match fitness.”
The statement then continued.
“The reports, as well as incorrect, are in complete opposition to the true thoughts of the Brazilian Coach and his staff.”