- Brazil superstar star Neymar is on the hot seat after it emerged that he collected over £200,000 for pleading for mercy
- Neymar was widely criticized for his frequent dives during Brazil matches at the Mundial
- The Selecao superstar is the most expensive player in history but was not considered good enough for FIFA’s Best awards
Brazil star Neymar is on the receiving end after news filtered in that he collected over £200,000 for a 90-second video in which he pleaded to Brazilians for mercy after appearing like a “spoilt kid” on the field of play.
According to a UK Sun report, the not carefully planned ad shows the Paris Saint-Germain star admitting he magnified fouls during the Mundial, but promised to turn a “new man” following his poor show at the global football fiesta in Russia.
The Brazilian forward netted twice in the tournament after overcoming a broken foot and was widely condemned for frequent dives during Brazil matches, until the Selecao were sent packing from the Mundial in the quarter-final by Belgium’s Red Devils.
The 26-year-old PSG superstar, who is currently the most expensive player in history, was also snubbed by football governing body FIFA in their recent shortlist for FIFA’s Best awards.
In the video the Brazil and PSG star claims he walks off the field without giving interviews “because I still haven’t learned to disappoint you” and promises to keep the “little boy inside of me” away from the pitch.
The report further revealed that the video where Neymar promised to accept criticism going forward hit the screens on Sunday during a commercial break in a primetime news show was put together by personal care products manufacturer Gillette who are the Brazilian sponsors since 2015.
However, the contrite video was not a success after sources told Brazilian newspaper O Globo that the PSG star had been paid “well over a million Brazilian reals” that is more than £200,000 to read the text, written by advertising company Grey.
“Grey is Gillette’s ad agency for the whole world and has been with the brand for years. The idea was approved very quickly, and Neymar’s team also liked the idea.
“The text is very good, but Neymar didn’t interpret it well. I think he should have tried harder to make the text sound like he meant it and speak with his soul,” the source added.
On the other hand, social media users also castigated the video, which includes footage of his numerous dives and rolls during the Mundial, faulting the player for releasing an “artificial” statement through a sponsor after he snubbed facing the media since Brazil’s exit at the Russia over 20 days ago.
Popular sports commentator Daniel Perrone wrote: “Imagine the worker who gets up at 5am on Monday morning hear one of the planet’s highest paid footballers complaining about the hardships of his life. And earning money for it? It’s not going to go down well.”
However, Neymar’s mother Nadine Santos, defended her son in a social media post: “I am your greatest admirer and with all respect, do not beat yourself up with words and accusations from those who you not love your neighbour.
“Know that they are a minority near the people who love you and especially who know your heart. I love you and I will always be with you my son… My warrior!”
Interestingly, the ad started with Neymar saying, "Boot-stud on the shins. Kick in the spine. Stomp on the foot. You may think I overreact, and sometimes I do. But the truth is I suffer on the pitch. You have no idea what I go through outside of it.”
The Selecao star also addressed many of the actions for which he has hit hard by his compatriots, including his proneness to storm of the field after a defeat and his reputation as a “spoilt kid”.
He said: "When I leave without talking to the press, it's not because I only like winning, it is because I still haven't learned to disappoint you.
"When I look impolite, it is not because I am a spoiled kid. It is because I have not learned how to deal with my frustrations.
"There's still a boy inside of me. Sometimes it dazzles the world. Other times, it pisses everyone off. And my fight is to keep this boy alive. But inside of me, not inside the field.
"You may think I've fallen too much, but the reality is I fell apart. And that hurts more than anyone stepping on your operated ankle.
“I took time to accept your criticism. I took time to look at myself in the mirror and become a new man. But now I'm here, with my heart wide open.
"I fell but only those who fall can get up. You can keep throwing rocks at me or you can throw your rocks away and help me get up because when I do get up, the whole country gets up with me."
However, some Selecao supporters branded the video “contrived” and “artificial” and recalled how Neymar often only speaks when money exchanges hand with his lucrative sponsors, which has handed the PSG star the nickname ‘Neymarketing’.
One, Grande Peaga, wrote: “It would have been better for Neymar to have kept quiet. He must have earned a fortune to say that. Neymar, go and play football. I wish I was suffering as much as you, do you want swap places with me? Go jump.”
Alexandre Bury commented: “The guy expresses himself via ADVERTISING? Simply unbelievable.”
Another, Paulo Rogrigues, wrote: “Neymar continues the same. Everything thought out and prepared by others. Even his ‘mea culpa’ is millimetrically prepared by third parties. Will he ever express his own opinion about anything?”
Additional report from Brazil’s O Globo newspaper, suggests executives from Gillette and the Grey agency were in “crisis management” talks on Tuesday after negative reaction from Brazilians trailed the advert in the South American nation.
Reacting on the video, a spokesman for Gillette was quoted saying: “Gillette’s new campaign invites all men, starting with its ambassador, to reflect on the new chances which every new day offers, to be better than yesterday.
“Like many others, Neymar faces challenges, injuries and defeats, and Gillette’s aim is to encourage ALL MEN, without distinction, to reflect on the opportunities to become “a new man every day”.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously had reported that Neymar was missing as the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) have released nominees for the 2018 men's best player.
The world football governing body shortlisted 10 footballers that made eye-catching performances for their respective teams between 3, July, 2017 and 15, July, 2018.
The selected players all represented their respective countries at the just concluded World Cup in Russia.
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