Neymar’s popularity is at an all-time low with football fans at the moment after his theatrics for Brazil at this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.
The 26-year-old, who is unquestionably one of the world’s most talented footballers, was heavily criticised for his playacting.
Neymar has tried to justify the diving and gamesmanship by insisting he does it as a self-defensive technique.
“Do you think I want to suffer tackles all of the time? No, it is painful, it hurts,” Neymar said via Sky Sports.
“After the games I stay back for four or five hours putting on ice, it's complicated but if you haven't experienced that you will never understand. I saw [the jokes], but I took them with a humour.”
Indeed, the jokes on social media at Neymar’s expense have been relentless since the World Cup.
But the Paris Saint-Germain superstar is currently putting on a brave face and insists he’s not fazed by the jibes.
Clip of Neymar in 5-a-side game angers football fans
One of the endearing things about Neymar is that he loves football - genuinely loves it.
This is why instead of putting his feet up after the World Cup, he’s been taking part in his own five-a-side tournament - Neymar Jr’s Five - in the Brazilian city of Santos.
However, a rather unedifying clip has emerged which will do very little to improve his popularity levels.
Neymar is seen trying to mug off a lad with some skill - but the guy holds his ground and manages to win the ball with a perfectly fair tackle.
Neymar, incensed by this, then reacts by barging the lad aggressively, making his opponent hit the deck in the process.
Watch the footage here…
Fair enough if it was a competitive match and he was up against a fellow professional, but this was just a kick around against amateurs.
His pride was clearly hurt after getting tackled and he made sure the lad didn’t get away with having the audacity to rob him of possession.
It will come as no surprise to hear that football fans who have already seen this footage have taken a dim view of Neymar’s actions…
Hopefully Neymar will get football fans back onside with his performances for PSG this season.
He has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or one day - but it’s difficult to imagine that happening until he sorts out certain aspects of his attitude.News Now - Sport News