Why Do People Hate Neymar?

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, known simply as Neymar, is one of the most polarizing athletes in the world of soccer. The Brazilian forward is supremely talented, among the greatest players of his generation, and a prolific goal scorer.

However, throughout his career, Neymar has also drawn intense criticism from fans, pundits, and even fellow players. He is a player that invokes extreme emotions from adoration to vitriolic hatred. But why exactly do some people hate Neymar?

Theatrics and Embellishment

One of the most common criticisms of Neymar is that he goes to ground too easily and embellishes challenges in order to win free kicks and penalties.

Season Free Kicks Won Penalties Won
2021-22 65 3
2020-21 51 3
2019-20 77 5

As the stats show, Neymar has consistently won a very high number of free kicks over the past three seasons. While his tricky dribbling style naturally draws more fouls, many believe he goes to ground far too easily, harming the flow of matches. Videos of Neymar writhing on the ground after minimal contact are endlessly mocked and criticized. For fans that value toughness and fair play, these perceived embellishments are infuriating.

Arrogance and Petulance

Another commonly cited reason is Neymar’s perceived arrogance, selfishness, and petulance on the pitch. Throughout his career, Neymar has shown visible frustration when teammates fail to pass him the ball. He will throw his arms up in disgust or yell at them to pass to him more often. This behavior indicates a selfish mentality to some critics.

Additionally, Neymar has developed a reputation for losing his temper when things don’t go his way. He will often get into arguments with opponents, referees, and even his own teammates in high pressure situations. This petulance and spoiled behavior rubs many viewers the wrong way.

Excessive Lifestyle

Off the pitch, Neymar draws criticism for living an excessive, celebrity lifestyle. He attends flashy parties, makes extravagant purchases, and brags about his wealth on social media. This flashy excess while making tens of millions per year playing soccer strikes many working class fans as obnoxious and detached from reality.

The Brazilian also devotes time to hobbies like poker that some view as distractions from soccer. After Brazil lost in the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals, video later emerged of Neymar playing poker immediately after the defeat. This apparent lack of dedication to his sport frustrates Brazilian supporters.

Divisive Transfer Decisions

Finally, some Brazilian fans harbor resentment about Neymar’s high profile transfer decisions. He drew their adoration playing for Santos in Brazil, even winning the Copa Libertadores. However, in 2013 he transferred to Barcelona where he formed part of a spectacular attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Just as Brazilian supporters began taking pride in Neymar starring for one of the world’s elite clubs, he suddenly transferred in the summer of 2017 to Paris Saint-Germain in France for a world record $263 million fee. This shocking transfer decision to leave Messi and Barcelona solely for a richer pay check angered many Brazilian fans. They viewed it as disloyal and selling out.

While Neymar has many fans globally, these are some of the major reasons why he also provokes intense hatred from some soccer supporters. His perceived theatrics, arrogance, excessive lifestyle, and divisive transfers have all drawn intense backlash that fuels the vitriol directed his way. Nonetheless, his brilliant play ensures he remains one of the most prominent names in soccer.

Why are soccer players like Neymar criticized for “flopping”?

Soccer players like Neymar are heavily criticized by fans, media, and fellow players for allegedly “flopping” on the pitch and embellishing fouls. Flopping refers to exaggeratedly falling down or feigning injury after minimal contact from an opponent in order to earn a free kick or penalty for their team.

Critics argue this flopping behavior is unsportsmanlike, harms the flow of matches, and enables cheating by fooling referees. Supporters counter that clever players like Neymar receive so many harsh challenges due to their skill that flopping becomes an essential protective skill.

There is also a cultural dimension as flopping is more prevalent and accepted in leagues like Brazil’s and various Southern European leagues. However, in leagues like the English Premier League, flopping is seen as decidedly foreign behavior that goes against their cultural notion of manliness and fair play in sport. These cultural differences exacerbate accusations of flopping against players like Neymar.

The increased theatricality of players and accessibility of instant video replay have also shone a brighter spotlight on flopping controversies in recent decades. Viral videos of players like Neymar rolling comically after no contact incenses fans already predisposed to see flopping as disgraceful. With soccer’s globalized talent, cultural clashes over flopping will doubtlessly continue stirring controversy.

Is the extreme criticism of Neymar’s lifestyle fair?

The intense criticism Neymar receives related to his lifestyle off the pitch is a complex debate. Neymar enjoys an extravagant lifestyle full of parties, celebrity hobnobbing, and flashy displays of his enormous wealth on social media. For working class soccer fans, this lavish lifestyle can appear detached from reality and feed resentment.

However, one could argue Neymar has earned the right to spend his money as he chooses. He emerged from poverty in Brazil to become one of soccer’s elite talents commanding nearly $100 million annually in salary and endorsements at his peak. The strain on his body and mind to perform at the highest echelons of this demanding sport require some release through recreation. As long as his lifestyle choices don’t breach laws or his contractual responsibilities, should he not have autonomy over how he spends his free time?

The counterargument is that Neymar is not a private citizen but a celebrity role model with millions of adoring fans globally, especially youths. His partying and playboy lifestyle could send mixed messages to supporters. And if his recreational choices ever threaten his match fitness, dedication, and performances, the criticism becomes more valid regarding his professional responsibilities.

In the end, the extreme criticism is arguably unjustified due to his earnings, personal freedom, and lack of illegal behavior. But as a superstar role model to global fans both young and working class, some backlash will persist around his excessive, seemingly detached lifestyle away from soccer.

What impact do Neymar’s transfer decisions have on perceptions of him?

As one of soccer’s most prominent talents, Neymar’s high profile transfer decisions have greatly impacted public perceptions of him both positively and negatively. Brazilian fans initially embraced him for staying locally to star for Santos and win continental glory in South America. However, his blockbuster 2013 transfer to Europe with Spanish giants Barcelona was welcomed as it enhanced his global superstardom alongside Messi.

But his 2017 world record 222 million euro transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain felt to many supporters like a greedy money grab at the expense of competitive ambition. He left behind the legendary Messi and a perennial Champions League contender for France’s top club primarily as a commercial vehicle for their Qatari owners. To critics, it represented selling out his ambition solely for greater wealth. This perspective sparked resentment towards what they saw as Neymar’s lack of loyalty while chasing fame and fortune.

However, his 2019 return to Barcelona on loan before re-signing with PSG muddied this narrative. Neymar appeared to regret his previous transfer choice by attempting to rejoin his former club in Spain. Yet the re-transfer failed and he remains in France for now seemingly content to play second fiddle to Kylian Mbappe. Going forward, further transfer intrigue will surely impact perceptions of Neymar’s motivations as money driven or dedicated to the highest levels of championship soccer.


In conclusion, Neymar elicits such extreme passions from both admirers and critics due to his exceptional, yet controversial talent and career choices. His mesmerizing, creative dribbling ability places him among the greatest talents of his generation. \

However, his perceived theatrics, selfishness, excessive lifestyle, and divisive transfer decisions have all fueled resentment towards him. These traits stirring such resentment speak to broader debates about ethics in sport, celebrity culture, loyalty in hyper-capitalist labor markets, and cultural attitudes towards superstardom.

While some see Neymar’s elite talent and personal branding success as aspirational, others view his antics and lifestyle as emblematic of morally questionable values around fame and wealth.

Most public figures invoking massive cultural stature like Neymar feature both light and dark elements, inspiring intense admiration or hatred grounded in valid logical positions on both sides. Regardless of these endless debates over Neymar’s merits, his superstardom at the center of European soccer is securely cemented for history.


Does Neymar flop and embellish fouls more than the average soccer player?

The statistics indicate Neymar does draw significantly more fouls and penalties than comparable star attacking players. While his tricky, crowd-pleasing dribbling style naturally invites more challenges, the degree beyond his peers suggests theatrical embellishment plays a major role as well.

Whether you view this as clever gamesmanship or unsportsmanlike is ideological, but the numbers confirm he wins fouls at an abnormally high rate.

What transfer fee did Paris Saint-Germain pay to sign Neymar from Barcelona?

In 2017, Paris Saint-Germain triggered Neymar’s $263 million release clause to sign him from Spanish club Barcelona. This world record transfer fee smashed the previous record set when Paul Pogba moved to Manchester United for 105 million euros the year before.

Did Neymar transfer from Santos to Real Madrid before signing with Barcelona?

No, Neymar never transferred to Real Madrid. He rose up through the youth academy of Brazilian club Santos and starred for their first team, winning continental and domestic honors.

His breakout performance internationally came playing for Brazil’s national team in the 2013 Confederations Cup staged in Brazil. That summer 2013, La Liga giants Barcelona signed him from Santos after paying his 57 million euro buyout clause. He spent four seasons at Barcelona before his record 2017 move to Paris Saint-Germain in France.

What is Neymar’s salary and annual endorsement earnings?

For the 2022-2023 season, Neymar earns an annual salary of $53 million from Paris Saint-Germain. When combined with his endorsement deals with brands like Puma, Red Bull, Qatar Airways, and others, his total annual earnings are estimated around $95 million per year.

Who are Neymar’s closest friends in international soccer?

Throughout his career, Neymar has been close friends with several top talents in international soccer. At Brazilian club Santos, he broke through alongside midfielder Ganso who he describes as his “idol” growing up.

At Barcelona, he formed close bonds with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to devastating effect on the pitch. For Brazil’s national team, he maintains close ties with club teammate Marquinhos, Roberto Firmino, Richarlison, and more.

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