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Sunday, July 4, 2010
ESPNsoccernet: July 5, 3:10 PM UK
Melo abused by fans as Brazil return

Soccernet staff

Brazil returned to a hostile reception from fans as the inquest into their World Cup exit continues in earnest.

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Felipe Melo took the brunt of the criticism as supporters threw insults and pushed and shoved towards the players after their flight back from South Africa had touched down in Rio de Janeiro.

The Juventus midfielder scored an own goal and was sent off for a stamp on Arjen Robben as Brazil went down 2-1 to the Netherlands in their World Cup quarter-final.

The 27-year-old said after the match he thought Robben had overreacted and that the referee had treated him harshly. Despite saying his red card was the "ugliest moment of his career," he also said he thought he had a "good World Cup."

Melo was flanked by bodyguards as he left the airport through a side door and ran for cover as fans heckled him over his performance, calling him one of the "fathers of defeat."

He then got into a car and was driven away by his father.

Former Brazil striker Ronaldo also blasted Melo on his Twitter account saying: "Felipe Melo better not come to Brazil for his holidays.

"I don't understand the lack of communication between Melo and Julio Cesar. When he comes out Julio always shouts, but this time both men went for the ball."

Fans were more gracious towards goalkeeper Julio Cesar and praised him for his display at the tournament. He said: "I am very emotional - I want to thank the Brazilian fans. This was the fruit of three-and-a-half years of work."

Kleberson, Gilberto Melo, Juan and Thiago Silva also had to face angry fans along with team doctor Jose Luiz Runco and technical assistant Jorginho.

Runco meanwhile told reporters that great hope Kaka was not fully fit for the tournament after his recent thigh problems at Real Madrid.

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