Before Barcelona signed Neymar in the summer of 2013, there was genuine concern that the technically-gifted Brazilian would struggle to adapt to European football because of his penchant for winning free-kicks.
The former Santos star would dive and over-exaggerate when touched by opponents while playing in his native Brazil because it often worked. Neymar was never going to get away with as much playacting in Europe but, in fairness to the 24-year-old, he’s cut a lot of that out of his game since arriving at the Camp Nou.
It hasn’t, however, gone away completely - and Getafe’s Pedro Leon was seen having a go at the South American for this exact reason during Saturday’s La Liga fixture. (Scroll down to see the footage - and find out what Leon told Neymar).
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Leon, the Getafe captain and former Real Madrid player, was filmed by El Dia Despues telling off the world-class forward.
According to Catalan newspaper Sport, Neymar was told: "You play very well, like always, but don't throw yourself [to the floor]."
Video: Pedro Leon tells Neymar not to dive
Scroll to 2 minutes, 10 seconds...
Barcelona thrashed Getafe 6-0
No doubt Leon was frustrated after being given the runaround by Neymar and his teammates for 90 minutes.
Barcelona went 6-0 up inside the opening hour against their relegation-threatened opponents, with Neymar scoring twice.
The home side appeared to take pity on Getafe after that - or perhaps they were bored by just how easy the match was - because they failed to score another goal in the final half-hour.
Others have previously hit out at Neymar for diving
Leon isn’t the only player to hit out at Neymar for diving over the years.
Former Real Madrid boss Fabio Capello blasted the Brazilian following a Clasico in October 2014, telling Fox Sports Italy: "Neymar is a great striker, but I hate that a player of his level has to fall to the ground every time you touch him
“He has a very annoying attitude.”
Even Pele admitted Neymar had a problem with playacting during an interview with ESPN two years ago.
"Yes, yes, he had this problem in Santos also," the football legend commented. "I think he tries to create fouls and situations that are not there. But now he got much better because in Europe, things are different."
Diving is less of an issue for Neymar these days
Over the past 12 months, however, it’s become much less of an issue.
All the talk about Neymar this season has been about where he sits amongst the current pantheon of football greats.
Many felt the Brazil international was unfortunate to miss out on second place in the voting for the 2015 Ballon d’Or award - Cristiano Ronaldo finished second, behind Lionel Messi - but it’s widely expected that he will secure the prestigious individual accolade at some point in the near future.
Does Neymar still have a problem with diving? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms