Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar is catching some flak after drawing a fairly controversial penalty in a pre-season friendly against Japan’s Gamba Osaka, in what has already been labeled a “world class dive.”
The purported dive can be clearly seen in the match’s highlights video — as shared by Paris Saint-Germain’s official YouTube channel — where the slow-mo replay, at least from that particular angle, seemingly proves there was no contact between Neymar and the Japanese centre-back Genta Miura.
As per the replay in slow motion, Miura can be seen pulling his leg back in an attempt not to hit Neymar, only for the Brazilian player to still end up falling to the ground in pain; or so he made it seem, some claim.
Neymar has a rather infamous reputation due to his many alleged, and oftentimes extravagant, dives. At the 2018 FIFA World Cup hosted in Russia, for instance, the Brazil forward was revealed to have spent a staggering 14 minutes on the ground in four matches.
In September of 2018, the Brazilian player responded to being labelled a diver, justifying all of the times he seemingly faked an injury at the 2018 World Cup.
“As for being called a diver, I don’t have too much to say about it,” Neymar said. “I am a player that — when I have the ball ten times, on eleven opportunities I will try to go through my opponent.”
He elaborated, “And you know how it is: I am faster, a little bit lighter, and sometimes I receive fouls. They will not let me go through without hitting me. I can’t go to an opponent and ask, ‘Could you excuse me as I’m trying to score a goal?’ They will not let me.”
“I have to find a way because of that , I suffered many fouls at the World Cup. But that was not what I wanted. Unfortunately, it happened. It’s another lesson I take with me,” the Paris Saint-Germain forward admitted.
Neymar concluded declaring, ” I am trying to improve my football every day, what I do in the pitch and outside of the pitch. And also help the national team, which is the most important. ”
Considering Neymar’s long history of either faking injuries or greatly exaggerating the severity of them, not to mention the countless dives the Brazilian striker purportedly orchestrated, social media users have not been kind to the Paris Saint-Germain star.
Out Of Context Football shared a clip of the moment in which Neymar can be seen falling to the ground after Miura pulled his leg away to avoid touching his opponent, and Twitter users were not impressed with the Brazilian player’s theatrics.
“I swear I’ve always asked [between] him and Luis Suarez who is the most hateful, but I believe that doubt is no longer allowed,” wrote @ndione_ada in response to Neymar’s controversial dive.
Twitter user @Jack_Caress shut down individuals claiming that Neymar didn’t fake the dive, stating, “For the people saying there was clear contact,” and listing that “1. from this angle it is impossible to see 100%”, “2. There is no way that the contact he received flicked both of his feet in the air like that”, and “3. It’s Neymar.”
“There are lunatics who say that this kid is better than Ronaldinho,” read another user’s cheeky assertion.
“The Japanese’s leg comes back with force ‘OUT OF NOTHING’ lol,” noted @Hifenhur, adding, “he didn’t [hit] it, the Japanese measured it millimetrically and turned his left leg hard, as if he had hit something, but it wasn’t a penalty.”
“Even in a friendly the guy [falls]. [F You]” wrote another user.
A fan of the footballer admitted, “I Absolutely love Neymar but diving in a pre season friendly really shows why a lot of people hate/dislike him.”
“Classic Neymar, Diving with full passion in a friendly,” echoed another user.
Twitter user Lyonnais2___ also pointed out, “In friendly he does that lol”
“That’s why everybody hates him, even here in Brazil…” opined one of the Paris Saint-Germain forward’s compatriots, adding, “That’s NOT brazilian football. Ronaldinho would stand up, dribble and score in this situation.”
Neymar also took to social media to explain his side of the controversy, replying to a tweet shared by the official account for Brazilian sports outlet Ge that reported Paris Saint-Germain’s 6-2 win over Gamba Osaka, but accusing the Brazil forward of suffering a “ghost” penalty.
“Ghost?” questioned Neymar, adding, “ge being ge… it’s a penalty! Bunch of people who never want to kick a ball and keep doing s—t.”
What do you make of Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar’s “world class dive” during the friendly match against Gamba Osaka? Sound off your thoughts in the comments section down below or on social media.