By Pedro Fonseca
TERESOPOLIS, Brazil, June 21 (Reuters) - Brazil's Dani Alves hit out at former England striker Alan Shearer on Saturday, saying his comments about centre-forward Fred were some of the stupidest he had ever heard.
Shearer told ESPN last week the Brazil number nine was slow, cannot shoot and should be replaced.
Although he has a good scoring record for Brazil over the last year, the Fluminense forward is not known for his mobility and he drew a blank in Brazil's first two games, a 3-1 win over Croatia and a 0-0 draw with Mexico.
"I just don't understand why Brazil are still picking him," Shearer said. "He doesn't move, he doesn't shoot and he's dragging the team down. I don't know if Brazil should change the system or play Neymar as a false nine, but the fact is that Fred is not the answer for what they are doing now."
The comments riled Brazilian players and Alves hit back on Saturday, saying a former professional should know better than to criticise.
"Those comments are some of the most idiotic that anyone can ever say," Alves told reporters at Brazil's base camp just outside Rio de Janeiro.
"Someone who played football, who knows how difficult it is to be a football player, how difficult it is to beat opponents, compete, score goals, it's a shame for football and a lack of respect for his colleagues that play the game. It's something to be ashamed of."
Brazil sit top of Group A on goal difference from Mexico.
The hosts play Cameroon and Mexico face Croatia on Monday in the final games. The group winners will face either Chile or the Netherlands in the last 16.
Brazil have been criticised in the media for their lacklustre performances so far - they required a soft penalty to give them the lead against Croatia - and Alves expressed concern at what he said might be unreal expectations.
"Fans want to the team to win, scoring five, 10 goals," Alves said. "So when we don't manage that they read things very differently from us, because they act with emotion and we act with a bit more criteria.
"We think that our fans have created a huge amount of expectation in the team and we are clearly working to provide answers to those expectations," he added.
"People are normally very pessimistic and they're tremendously negative, but we need to stay faithful and defend the work we're doing, which I think is very well done." (additional reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Ed Osmond)