Rivaldo’s shameless tumble against Turkey in the 2002 World Cup semi-final Brazil was a key example of when a player conned a referee to win a match

Brazil were played off the pitch by the tournaments standout team, but the referee awarded Brazil everything they needed to reach the final, and now they seem to have a new immensely talented superstar that lacks respect for his opposition.

Neymar Jr, the man that Barcelona have just bought for £49million was often seen as overhyped and overrated, but after the group games in the Confederations Cup, there has been no denying the Brazilian starlet's raw ability.

His goal against Japan showed his willingness and ability to shoot from range when a goal is possible, showing maturity, talent and also a keen eye for goal. 

For the rest of the game he gave the Japanese defence real trouble and was Brazil’s standout performer.

Against Mexico it was much of the same, his goal wasn’t from distance, but it was very well taken and showed his ability to make decisions instantly, and also his great finishing ability. 

Although he wasn’t as good against Mexico as he struggled against a defence that was very well positioned and was clearly set up to keep Neymar out, as Fred and Paulinho were often left unmarked.

Then came the game that everyone was waiting for - Brazil versus Italy. The two most impressive players of the tournament had been Neymar and Mario Balotelli, both young strikers showing the world who the next two superstars will be. 

At times both didn't disappoint, showing exactly why they are both so highly-rated, though Brazil dominated the early proceedings, Italy came into the game, but sadly, so did the ugly side of Neymar.

The first real talking point was the horrendous challenge on Ignazio Abate that ended up in a dislocated shoulder for the Italian, and subsequently ended his time at the Confederations Cup early. 

Neymar pleaded his innocence to the referee acting like he had done nothing, the referee then showed Neymar a yellow card, but the majority of watchers thought the card should have been of a different colour.

This was followed by a string of obvious dives, one which was awarded a free-kick which resulted in Brazil’s second goal. 

This type of play is reminiscent of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo, who was known for conning the referee in his younger years. 

Although there are players like Messi, Balotelli, Ibrahimovic and Iniesta who rarely go down and use their footballing talent to win tough games, the referees are just as bad as the likes of Neymar as they let the players reputation intimidate them into giving them the opposite of what they deserve.

Football is heading in an ugly direction where diving seems to be rewarded and not punished. Things need to change before they get worse.

But with Sepp Blatter at the head of FIFA, change is unlikely to happen.   


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