Sunday, 9.56PM. Brazilians who are watching Fantástico, one of the most famous TV shows in the country, come across a speech from Neymar during the break.
The video is Neymar explaining himself. Explaining that he suffers on the pitch. Explaining that he doesn’t know how to deal with failure. Explaining that he tries to keep the boy inside of him alive.
Well maybe it’s a little late to explain. Because we expected our best player to take less than 20 days to comment on the game that took Brazil out of the World Cup.
But wait… why isn’t he showing his face as he talks? Hey, did they make animations especially for that speech? Look, I think this text was written by an advertiser. Oh, no, I can’t believe it’s sponsored content!
The video is pathetic. It gets worse every time you watch. And we ended up watching it again, as it was posted on his social media right after it was aired on TV.
Neymar, or the razor company, tried using this ad to show that he is a new man. And he tried to make it a big deal, like it was a commercial during the Super Bowl or the Oscars.
“Look at me, I’m 26 and I’m, like, almost a man!”
Let’s not forget that Neymar’s father was the only relative allowed to stay at Brazil’s hotel during the World Cup. A bit like the superstar was just a boy among many men.
And once again, Neymar’s new artificial speech fails miserably. I dare to say it sounds a bit like Pelé. That’s a shame, because we wanted Neymar, grown up in the same club as the king of football, to reach a similar level in terms of playing. But all we see is the same ability to make money in every single chance he has.
This is the third time that Neymar embarrasses himself this summer. First, when he kneeled in the centre of the pitch and cried as if he was the most suffering person in the world. Later, when he thought he could still fool someone with his diving. And now, trying to sound sincere and ending up showing that he’s still an awful actor.
I was there on the 3rd of March 2009 when Neymar made his professional debut. I was there two years later, when at the age of 19, he carried Santos to a Copa Libertadores title. I saw the rise of a superstar. Today I still see this star pretty high, but no longer with all that brightness.
Years ago, we expected that when the dynasty of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi came to an end, Neymar would undoubtedly be the next to conquer the throne. But here we are, in what should be his prime, and he is out of the world’s top ten… at least according to the nominations for FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards.
At the next World Cup, Neymar will be 30 years old. By then, he definitely can’t be called a boy. And that’s why, at least for me, how will he get to the tournament is completely unpredictable. Will he be the best in the world, having taken PSG or Real Madrid to Champions League titles, or will he be just another good player with added extravagance off the pitch?
The truth is that, in terms of image, it doesn’t matter anymore. Half of Neymar’s career has already passed, and the impression he leaves behind is awful.
These days, a regular Brazilian football fan has more fun with Romelu Lukaku speaking Portuguese in an interview than with Neymar’s press-trained speeches.
And if in his new video he asks the nation to help him stay on his feet, Brazil’s reaction to this commercial shows that he will have to do it by himself.
Lucas Sposito, São Paulo.