Neymar: He’s a Bit of a Knob
It would be wholly unnecessary to point out that I’m not a professional footballer. An injury at fourteen put paid to any dreams I might have had – that and being pretty shit at the sport. Even so, despite lacking the experience of highly-paid kickabouters, I do know a few things about the game. For example, I know that supporting Aston Villa is an exercise in mental self-mutilation. I can also tell you that it didn’t really need an FBI investigation to conclude that Sepp Blatter makes Sam Allardyce look like a fucking saint.
Another thing I know about futsal is that if I were Neymar, I’d be fucking embarrassed with myself. Once again, Brazil gets sent packing from a World Cup that their fans had deludedly already awarded to them. Scenes of traumatised Brazilians weeping into their hands is starting to become a fixture of modern World Cups – like hosting it in countries with shitty human rights records, or people panicking that an angry swarm of bees is about to sting their eyeballs out, only to realise that some arseholes have brought the vuvuzelas. Honestly, those things are even more annoying than the four-song chumps that follow England around.
Keep Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’
In a way, though, while I’m always glad to see Brazil get knocked out, I do feel for their fans. Brazil has yet another incredibly talented group of players. It’s only right that their expectations are high and they approach each match with the optimism of Michael Fabricant come election day. On this occasion, Brazilian fans were woefully let down by their own star player – Neymar.
Neymar’s World Cup 2018 antics haven’t gone unnoticed. Even before the Belgium match, the Internet was filling up with memes of the silly bastard rolling around on the floor as if he’d just taken a sledgehammer shot to the thigh. Heading into that match, Gary Lineker tweeted that Neymar had accumulated fourteen minutes of ground time. Even Ric Flair didn’t spend that long on the floor when he won the 1992 Royal Rumble.
Like him or not, one can’t say Neymar isn’t talented. PSG didn’t say “fuck that shit” to Financial Fair Play rules for no reason. However, when we look back on Neymar’s career in twenty years time, are we going to be thinking “wow, what a player” or are we going to be unflatteringly likening him to Rivaldo and *that* incident?
“Ow, My Face!”
Having silly money spent on you doesn’t immediately guarantee that you’ll be immortalised forever as one of the all-time greats. Denilson’s move to Betis was once the world record transfer and who talks about him anymore? Neymar’s career will be judged on what he did in the big matches. Nobody is going to give a shit that he bossed a game against Caen once. They’re going to look at what he did when it mattered against the likes of Belgium. Unless he bucks his ideas up, what they’re going to see is an idiot who decided to use a World Cup Quarter Final to perfect his Tom Daley impersonation.
Nobody can deny Maradona was one of the most gifted players ever. He was also a cheating little shit with a drug problem, and that is rapidly turning into his legacy. Rivaldo’s “Ow my face!” moment? That appears on the Most Memorable Moments lists far more often than anything else Rivaldo did in a yellow shirt.
Sure, if Brazil had won the World Cup and Neymar had banged in the winner, maybe all would be forgiven but they didn’t, and he didn’t. Instead, by the time Brazil’s World Cup was drawing to a close, even the referees had grown tired of the Boy Who Cried About Everything.