Self-professed sports scientist and Twitter user, Ross Tucker, has called out Brazil’s superstar, Neymar Jr, for what he describes as his “proclivity for injury.”
Taking to his verified Twitter handle @Scienceofsport, Tucker decries Neymar’s seeming endless ‘tantrums’ in the field.
Yahoo Sports notes that Neymar might be the most-fouled player in the World Cup, but figures revealed on Thursday show just how much he is “milking every point of contact.”
As players, pundits and fans alike fume at the antics of the 26-year-old, rolling around and writhing in agony, it has emerged that Neymar has spent a staggering 13 minutes 50 seconds on the ground.
Fouled 23 times in four matches so far, that means Neymar spends almost 30 seconds ‘recovering’ from every knock.
The claim has been made by RTS after Neymar was the centre of attention for both the right and unfortunately, wrong reasons, during his country’s 2-0 defeat of Mexico in the last 16 clash.
He scored a goal and claimed an assist but spoiled his Man of the Match performance when Mexico’s full-back, Miguel Layun, gently stepped on the Brazilian’s ankle.
Brazil’s No.10 acted like it had been a stamp, indicating huge pain. He was, quite literally, taking it lying down.
He also completed a large number of rolls after a challenge during Brazil’s opening match against Switzerland.
“There is no doubt that Neymar takes more than his fair share of punishment as he is clearly the player being targeted. But when you anger former England skipper that much that he rants: ‘It was absolutely pathetic when he is rolling around pretending to be in agony. Why does he feel the need to do that?’, and incite Mexico manager, Juan Carlos Osorio, to state: ‘It’s a shame for all football. It’s a negative example for the game, it’s a charade,’ you know you are on the wrong track,” Yahoo Sports says.
The medium then goes on to analyse Neymar’s ‘rest periods’:
Against Switzerland 3min 40sec
Against Costa Rica 2min 46sec
Against Serbia 1min 56sec
Against Mexico 5min 29sec
But on the plus side, he is eighth in the table for touches in the World Cup so far – with 366 – but is top when it comes to touches in the opposition penalty area (48), and dribbles attempted (43) although he has only completed 19 of those dribbles – behind Lionel Messi and Isco (23 each).
Neymar himself won’t be drawn on his histrionics (drama), refusing to speak to the media, instead allowing his football to do the talking… sometimes.
(Yahoo Sport UK/Twitter)