For someone who has spent as long as 14 minutes lying on the pitch at FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, Brazilian striker Neymar has been at the centre of many jokes and online memes that have amused the fans.
Neymar’s antics of crying in agony on slightest of touches and even flopping on the ground several rounds has not only been a source of entertainment for fans, but has also attracted criticism.
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Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osario said, after his team’s 0-2 defeat to Brazil in the round of 16 match: “We wasted a lot of time because of one single player. I think this is a real shame for football, especially for kids who are watching because this has to be a sport of virility, of determination, a man’s sport, like other games, and not a charade.”
Neymar had fallen on the ground claiming that Mexican Miguel Layun had stepped on his ankle.
Rene Simoes, a renowned Brazilian coach chose some strict words for Neymar. “Something has to be done to educate this kid. We are creating a monster,” he was quoted as saying circa 2012, according to The Japan Times.
However, former Selecao striker Ronaldo has stood in support of Neymar, who is the most fouled player in the ongoing World Cup.
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“There are many ways to see football and interpret it. I am against all these opinions [on Neymar acting]. He is an intelligent player in his movements and on how to defend himself from being tackled. I don’t think referees have been protecting him enough,” Ronaldo was quoted as saying by ESPN.
Interestingly, Neymar’s on-field histrionics resemble a KFC South Africa advertisement, which was aired at the start of the tournament in Russia.
Meanwhile, Brazil will take on the Group G toppers Belgium in the quarterfinal at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on Friday night.
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