Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar Jr conceded he exaggerated fouls amid the World Cup but has vowed to turn a new leaf in the wake of falling apart in Russia.
There were high hope for Neymar and Brazil at Russia 2018, however, the South American giants made a shocking quarter-final exit when they crumbled to Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne‘s first-half opener which saw them leave the Mundial on a sad note.
Neymar – who scored twice at the Mundial in the wake of recuperating from a broken foot sustained in February – was a target of criticism for his theatrics and unruly behavior on the pitch. The 26-year-old forward was subsequently left off the nominees for FIFA’s Best award.
Neymar utilized a sponsor’s promotion with personal care manufacturers, Gillette, to acknowledge criticism and promise to ricochet back. The advertisement started with Neymar saying, “Boot-stud on the shins. Kick in the spine. Stomp on the foot.
“You may think I overreact, and sometimes I do. But the truth is I suffer on the pitch. You have no idea what I go through outside of it.
“When I leave without talking to the press, it’s not because I only like winning, it is because I still haven’t learned to disappoint you.
“When I look impolite, it is not because I am a spoiled kid. It is because I have not learned how to deal with my frustrations.
There’s still a boy inside of me. Sometimes it dazzles the world. Other times, it pisses everyone off. And my fight is to keep this boy alive. But inside of me, not inside the field.
“You may think I’ve fallen too much, but the reality is I did not fall. I crumbled. And that hurts more than anyone stepping on your operated ankle.
“I took time to accept your criticism. I took time to look at myself in the mirror and become a new man. But now I’m here, with my heart wide open.
“I fell but only those who fall can get up. You can keep throwing rocks at me or you can throw your rocks away and help me get up because when I do get up, the whole country gets up with me.”