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22nd Jun 2018

Neymar’s comments to Dutch referee were not hard to miss

His language was, let's say, colourful

Patrick McCarry

Neymar most definitely lost his cool today, but he ended up on the winning side.

In two World Cup games, Neymar has been subjected to heavy treatment from Switzerland and Costa Rica.

The Brazilian talisman has called for more protection after claiming he is being cynically and deliberately targeted by opposition players. That looked hard to argue against, on Friday, as Costa Rican players took lumps out of the 26-year-old in their Group E encounter.

Neymar was felled on eight separate occasions in the first 82 minutes and yet the only yellow cards flashed were to Philippe Countinho and the Brazilian No.10 himself.

To make matters worse, Neymar approached referee Bjorn Kuipers for a half-time rant and then was livid when a penalty call in his side’s favour was reversed. Minutes after, Neymar received his caution for smashing his fist into the ball and cursing after a foul was called against his side.

TV cameras caught the PSG star twice call out ‘Puta’ during that burst of petulance and he was correctly booked.

Just over five minutes later, with the game still scoreless, as Neymar accused a Costa Rican defender of time-wasting, Dutch referee Kuipers asked him to back away and placed a hand on his chest. Twice, Neymar told the ref ‘Don’t touch me’ as he moved his hand away.

That, it would seem, was just the tip of the iceberg. Further reviews of match footage revealed that the Brazilian aimed a variety curses at Kuipers and his match assistants on seven different occasions.

Heavy weighs the crown but there is a way to carry the burden and expletive-laden rants are not the way to go.

As for the man himself, he took to Instagram not long after his side’s 2-0 win to explain his full-time whistle tears. He wrote:

‘Not everyone knows what I’ve been through to get here, everyone can talk about it, but not everyone can do it!! These tears are from happiness, overcoming obstacles, I guess, from grit and will to win. In my life, things were never easy, and they wouldn’t be now!! The dream is still on, not a dream… an objective! Congrats on the match boys, you guys RULE!’

Surely more referees will be on the look-out for Neymar and his foul-mouthed reactions when decisions don’t break his way.