Mexico captain Andres Guardado has urged officials to keep a keen eye on Brazil forward Neymar “because he likes to exaggerate fouls.”
Mexico face Brazil in a round-of-16 clash in Samara on Monday, and Guardado issued his appeal amid criticism of Neymar for going to ground easily during the tournament.
“We all know Neymar,” the midfielder told a news conference on Friday. “It’s not up to me or us to judge, but the referees and FIFA.
“Now they have VAR [Video Assistant Referees], they have to watch his style of play and the referee needs to be on top of it because we know he likes to exaggerate fouls, he likes to drop to the floor a lot.
“But I repeat, it is his style of play and those who have to judge and in a way put an end to it are the officials, not us.”
Real Betis midfielder Guardado said El Tri could get past Brazil despite never having defeated them at a World Cup.
“We’d never beaten Germany in a World Cup either, and we did it in this one,” he said. “We’re here to make history and it is in our hands.
“We’ll do everything possible because we all know that statistics don’t play when the game starts.”
Guardado is keen for Mexico to put their 3-0 defeat to Sweden in the final group game behind them as they bid to reach a first World Cup quarterfinal outside their own country.
“We have to leave to one side everything we did wrong against Sweden and analyse everything positive we can to take into this game, which many of my teammates have said is the game of our lives,” he said.