Bolivian defends Neymar elbow

Yasmani Mak has defended his bloody elbow on Neymar in Bolivia’s defeat to Brazil on Friday. “He has to stop being a show-off and respect his opponents…”

Mak planted an elbow on Neymar’s head, which left the Brazilian with a gash, but the incident went unpunished and the former suggested it was the “unfortunate” consequence of the Barcelona forward trying to “nutmeg” him.

“He wanted to nutmeg me and then I extended my arm,” he was quoted as saying by Marca after his country’s 5-0 loss in 2018 World Cup qualifying.

“I didn’t realise I elbowed him, I’ve never been malicious, but unfortunately it went like that.

“Neymar came into the game over the top, but my intention was only to stop a move, as I should in football.

“Everyone knows what this sport is, I broke my nose and no-one said anything. Football’s a contact sport. I tried to get the ball because I’d read the play.

“To be the best player in the world, he has to stop being a show-off and respect his opponents.”

Tags 2018 World Cup Bolivia Brazil Neymar