Neymar not upset at critics of his World Cup rolling
SAO PAULO: Neymar said he isn’t upset with critics who have made fun of his apparent theatrics during the World Cup in Russia.
At an auction organised by Neymar Jr. Institute on Thursday, the striker appeared in public for the first time since Brazil were eliminated by Belgium in the World Cup quarter-final.
Earlier on Thursday, the Brazilian posted a video on Instagram like many others poking fun at his exaggerated reactions after being fouled during the World Cup.
“I was joking [in the social media video]. Since everybody is hopping on the bandwagon, I take it as a joke. I am not upset,” the Paris Saint-Germain striker told Fox Sports before the auction.
In the short video, Neymar is surrounded by children who fall after he gives them a sign. “It was just a moment I was with the kids and I decided to do it,” the striker said.
Fans, players and former football stars criticised the Brazilian for his overacting on the pitch in Russia, including a tearful moment at the end of the 2-0 win against Costa Rica and a lot of rolling after being fouled by adversaries.
His advocates, however, say the 26-year-old needs to be more protected by referees against constant and aggressive fouling from adversaries, and that his reactions are not as important.
Neymar also said “the grief is over” after Brazil’s World Cup elimination.
“We have to choose to be happy. We have reasons to be sad, but I choose to be happy,” he said.