World Cup 2018: Brazil's Neymar has spent 14 minutes on the ground, according to study
Because Neymar detractors needed more firepower
Brazil star Neymar Jr. has gotten a lot of hate at this World Cup for his acting on fouls, and this study from a television station in Switzerland isn't going to help. According to RTS Sport, Neymar has now spent 14 minutes on the ground throughout the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, much to the dismay of the teams he's played against.
There are two incidents that stand out. The first came when Mexico's Miguel Layun stepped on Neymar's ankle while going to pick up a ball, which prompted this reaction:
The other came against Switzerland, which is likely what prompted this study in the first place.
Opponents tend to play a very physical game against Neymar, who sometimes ups the antics to compensate. Like any soccer player flopping, there's some gamesmanship behind it. Mexico, for example, had been bullying Neymar all match, and he was likely trying to get someone ejected.
Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio called Neymar out for "clowning" after Layun stepped on him, adding that "We had control of the match, but to me it is just shameful that so much time could be lost over one player."
Even KFC got in on the fun.
Fourteen minutes is definitely an excessive amount of time to spend on the ground. With that being said, being fouled 14 times through the first two matches is also excessive. It's also worth noting that those minutes aren't typically wasted if the head official is tacking on stoppage time at the end of the halves. It's easy to see why Neymar wants these calls sold. He's sick of being targeted when he touches the ball.
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