A football player in a yellow uniform rolls on the ground. In online memes, he rolls with a football and a bowling ball and with cars on the highway. It is Neymar who became an object of ridicule after the round of 16 against Mexico. His reaction after being stepped up by Miguel Layun at the match against Mexico Monday (Korea time) became controversial. Social media is overflowing with mockery using Neymar’s images.
Neymar, though, was dismissive and criticized Mexico’s aggressive play. “I think it’s more an attempt to undermine me than anything else.” Layun stepped on Neymar’s right ankle, which was injured just five months ago. It has been less than a month since he fully recovered from the injury. He got his right ankle sprained at a League 1 match with Marseille in February and left the field on a stretcher. He went through a surgery after being diagnosed with an external sprain of the right ankle and an associated fissure of the fifth metatarsal (bones located between the ankle and toes). The Brazilian Football Confederation even dispatched a doctor to monitor his condition, concerning that he would not be able to join the national team for the World Cup.
Neymar’s theatrics is clearly ungentlemanly, but what’s also true is that he has been fouled and monitored excessively. He was fouled 10 times in the first league match against Switzerland on June 18 and failed to score a goal. After scoring his first goal in the second league match against Costa Rica, he sat down on the field and shed tears. This shows how much pressure he has been getting as an ace player of Brazil. Neymar took to social media to explain his emotions: "Not everyone knows what I went through to get here. Even parrots can talk, but walking the walk, not everyone does it. I cried out of happiness, overcoming, grit and desire to win.”