Neymar Jr.: Brazilian football star faces criticism for supporting Bolsonaro
Days before Brazil’s national elections on Sunday, soccer star Neymar Jr. appeared in a campaign video endorsing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker and Brazil captain appeared on a TikTok video singing Bolsonaro’s campaign jingle in which he lip-syncs, “Vote, vote and press ‘confirm’ for 22, it’s Bolsonaro “, in reference to the official ballot number of the Brazilian president. .
The video was also posted on Neymar’s personal TikTok account on Thursday.
Neymar’s endorsement comes a day after Bolsonaro visited the footballer’s nonprofit, Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr, in Sao Paulo state.
The video of Bolsonaro visiting the institute, which seeks to create opportunities through educational and sports initiatives for low-income families and children in the city of Praia Grande, was posted on the institute’s official Twitter account. .
Although Neymar was unable to greet the president in person, he sent him a video message from Paris, where he had just played a friendly match with the Brazilian national team, helping secure a 5-1 win over Tunisia. , which was Brazil’s last game. ahead of the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
However, Neymar’s show of support drew criticism, with Brazilian comedian Yuri Marçal drawing attention to Bolsonaro’s remarks. historically antagonistic relationship with the Brazilian natives.
Responding to the criticism he has faced for his support of Bolsonaro, Neymar tweeted Friday that “They talk about democracy and a lot of things, but when someone has a different opinion, they are attacked by the very people who talk about democracy. Go figure it out.”
The Brazil team’s distinctive yellow jersey is a symbol that unites the country through love of football and national pride, but in recent years the adoption of the jersey by Bolsonaro’s right-wing supporters, who wear it during of demonstrations and rallies to show their political allegiance to the Brazilian president has caused controversy.
Walter Casagrande, former footballer for the Brazilian national team and the Corinthians club São Paulo, remembers the feeling of having scored a goal while wearing the yellow jersey in his first match with the “Selecao” in 1985.
“It was a magical thing,” Casagrande told CNN Sport in 2020, “like an enchanted object that gave me tremendous emotion.
“Now I consider that the Brazilian yellow jersey has been taken away and appropriated by the right, so we cannot use it,” added Casagrande, whose feelings lie on the left side of the political chasm.
Casagrande said that for him the power of the yellow shirt was that it represented democracy and freedom.
“Brazil is appearing horribly to the world right now,” he said two years ago. “It’s the first time in my life that I see the yellow jersey used against democracy and freedom.”
Neymar’s support for Bolsonaro could be timely given a national opinion poll released on Thursday that shows former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva ahead of the incumbent president by 14 points in the first round of the upcoming election. country’s presidential elections on October 2.
The Datafolha Institute’s national poll published by the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper shows Lula would win 50% of the vote to Bolsonaro’s 36%, excluding null and blank votes and undecided voters.
Whoever gets 50% plus one vote would win the election without needing a second round.
In 2014, on the eve of the first-round presidential poll, Neymar recorded a video declaring his support for Aécio Neves of the centrist PSDB party, beaten in the second round by Dilma Rousseff of the left-wing Workers’ Party.
In 2010, Neymar made public his meeting with Lula, then president, on his social networks.
“Me and Paulo Henrique Ganso have just met the President of the Republic, very cool! It will be marked for the rest of your life!” he wrote at the time.
Neymar’s teammate, Seleção striker Lucas Moura, has also expressed his support for Bolsonaro recently, saying on the Cara a Tapa podcast: “I don’t see any perfect presidential candidate, but I can’t deny that Bolsonaro is the guy who comes closest to what I believe.”
Lula recently received a vote of confidence from Anitta, Brazil’s biggest popstar, and has also garnered widespread support from celebrities abroad, including American actors Mark Ruffalo and Danny Glover and British musician Roger Waters.