Neymar has often been accused of being a diva. Having gained attention and fame from a very young age may have affected his personality, as is the case with many celebrities.
People have attributed the Brazilian’s behaviour, on and off the pitch, as a reason for his lack of success for club and country. However, a recent excerpt from Brazil national team coach Tite’s interview may contradict certain notions surrounding Neymar
“We were playing & Raphinha nutmegged someone, one of our experienced players behind shouted, “calm down, don’t do that there,” Tite narrates, “Neymar interrupted shouting “NO NO NO”, took the player to the side and said, ‘Encourage him to dribble, you can blame me but not a youngster.’”
The Brazillian has been praised widely for his actions. Some are commending his silent leadership traits. They are highlighting how Neymar may often take the brunt of criticism to help take pressure off his other teammates.
Others are praising him for defending an aspect of football that is gradually becoming a lost art. Showboating is nowadays frowned upon by some former and current professionals. They feel it is disrespectful to the opposition and unnecessary for the game.
Neymar himself has often been chastised or looked down upon for showboating. Two years ago, in a 5-0 win over Montpellier, Neymar was given a talking to by the referee for showing his skills. When the player argued he was shown a Yellow card for dissent.
Therefore it’s understandable why Neymar came to his teammate’s defence. It’s good to see Neymar and Raphinha carry on the Samba tradition. With the World Cup this winter, Brazilians will be hoping their team bring back the trophy for the first time since 2002.
Perhaps being led by a more mature and experienced Neymar, who will be supported by skilled talents such as Raphinha and others, will see them go all the way through in the tournament.