Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has criticised the culture of South American players in the wake of a red card given to Celtic captain Scott Brown in Tuesday’s Champions League tie against Barcelona.
Brown, called up to the national squad by Strachan yesterday, was sent off after aiming a kick at Brazilian striker Neymar, who some accused of reacting theatrically.
Strachan refused to blame Brown for the sending off, but also steered clear of criticising Neymar directly, instead pointing out that the culture of South American football meant that play-acting was part of the norm.
“You’ve got to remember in South America that’s accepted,” said Strachan.
“In Britain, your mates say ‘What are you doing, you embarrassed yourself there’. I find that very strange. It’s not going to change now.
“With all that respect and handshake thing, they go through that, they they roll about on ghe ground. It’s the culture.
“If you have been in South America, where these people come from, you will do anything not to go back there and you’ll do anything to make a living. “It’s very hard to understand unless you’ve gone over there and seen where people come from.
“I hope it won’t come into British football.”
Strachan, who bought Brown to Celtic in a £4.4million deal in 2007, also heaped praise on the midfielder, saying: “I’m not going to speak to him [about the red card], no. I’ll look forward to meeting him again because he always makes the world a cheerier or brighter place when I meet him.
“And I know fine well when I pick him that I have got a great captain and a great player whose career has come on leaps and bounds in the last two or three years.”