Netease Sports reported on October 16:
In the second round of the world preliminaries,
"To be honest, Neymar is a great player, he is one of the best in the world. But to me, he is really a clown." Zambrano said, "He knows what he wants to do, he is great, But he was always looking for the smallest physical contact. He flopped four or five times in the penalty area just to cheat the penalty. In the end he achieved his goal and he got two non-existent penalty kicks."
Zambrano criticized the referee for favoring Brazil: "After I was shown a yellow card, Neymar pressed the referee for a red card. The referee immediately went to see VAR, because the opponent was the Brazilian team. The referee will go regardless of whether the result is in favor of Brazil. Look at VAR because this is Brazil. When we want the referee to watch VAR, the referee ignores it."
Zambrano was sent off for elbowing Richardson in this battle. He said that he was an unintentional fault: "It is difficult to fight without one person. We were very passive at the time. I didn't mean it, I just wanted to seize my position. , The opponent happened to be in the same position as me. Unfortunately, I hit him in the face and I apologized to him. It was an unintentional foul. My mind was very calm and I knew what happened."