MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) --
Argentina legend Diego Maradona believes Brazil
are “on the way” to their sixth World Cup title in Russia
following their 2-0 defeat of Mexico in the round of 16 on
Neymar and Roberto
Firmino struck second-half goals in Samara as Brazil booked a
place in the quarterfinals against Belgium.
“I saw a team that
is solid and on the way to the title,” Maradona said on his
Venezuelan television program, De la Mano del Diez.
“I like (Brazil
coach) Tite a lot. Mexico wanted to play like they did against
Germany, giving everything. You can’t ask for anything more than
that from Mexico.”
Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi for allowing an altercation
between Neymar and Miguel Layun to go unpunished. The game was
delayed for more than four minutes after Layun appeared to
deliberately step on Neymar’s leg, prompting the Brazilian
forward to writhe on the ground in apparent agony.
“Neymar has to
decide. He either makes us laugh or he makes us cry. The stamp
by the Mexican (Layun) was something to cry about but when
seeing him run afterwards, it made us laugh,” Maradona said.
“What is going on? It’s either a yellow card for the Mexican or
yellow for Neymar for simulation.”
Asked if he would
return to coach Argentina’s national team, the 1986 World Cup
winner replied: “Yes, I would and I wouldn’t ask for anything in
Maradona was in
charge of Argentina at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where
the team were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Germany.
The Albiceleste were
knocked out in the round of 16 in Russia with a 4-3 loss to
France. Current coach Jorge Sampaoli is contracted until 2022.