- A British politician described the soccer star Neymar as a “clown” for his actions in Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Mexico on Monday.
- Neymar scored one goal and assisted another in the match, but some have criticised him for overreacting to a foul by the sidelines.
- The criticism even transcended sports, as the politician, Johnny Mercer, said he had seen people “get shot” and “take it better” than Neymar.
- Read all of Business Insider’s World Cup coverage here.
Neymar has been described as a “clown” by a British politician because of his apparent play-acting in Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Mexico on Monday in the 2018 World Cup.
Brazil booked its place in the World Cup quarterfinal, and Neymar played a starring role in the win. The forward, who broke the transfer world record when he joined Paris Saint-Germain in a $US260 million deal last summer, created five goal-scoring opportunities, provided one assist, and scored a goal in Brazil’s crucial victory.
But one action in the 70th minute apparently overshadowed Neymar’s performance. He theatrically rolled around on the ground, lashing out in apparent pain, after Mexico’s Miguel Layun stepped on his shin on the sideline.
Watch the step:
My favorite part of this is how Neymar waits until he’s no longer being stepped on for his abject “agony” to kick in. pic.twitter.com/oGKjgiPqYc
— Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) July 2, 2018
And here’s Neymar’s reaction:
The former England striker Alan Shearer was among those who lambasted Neymar for his reaction.
Shearer, who scored 30 goals for England, told the BBC that the Brazilian’s behaviour was “absolutely pathetic,” adding: “There is no doubting his ability… but it is pathetic when he is rolling around pretending to be in agony. Why does he feel the need to do that?”
The criticism transcended the sports world when the British politician waded into the debate.
Johnny Mercer, a Conservative member of Parliament who previously served in the British army, tweeted: “I’ve seen people get shot that take it better than this clown. What a talent; what a waste.”
I've seen people get shot that take it better than this clown. What a talent; what a waste. https://t.co/JRii7Q24lu
— Johnny Mercer (@JohnnyMercerUK) July 2, 2018
Not everybody attacked Neymar though.
Jurgen Klinsmann, a former World Cup winner who coached the United States men’s team from 2011 to 2016, sympathized with the Brazilian soccer star.
“How many fouls on Neymar?” Klinsmann asked rhetorically on the BBC, adding that the referee may have needed to consult video to investigate Layun’s stepping on him.
“This is a red card,” Klinsmann said.
To date, Neymar has had 23 fouls at this year’s World Cup, the most of any athlete at the tournament.
Brazil and Neymar are next in action on Friday.
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