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Neymar admits to World Cup playacting in sponsor advert

Neymar admits to World Cup playacting
© Reuters
Neymar admits to exaggerating fouls during the World Cup, but the Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain superstar pledges to become a new man after a difficult time in Russia.

Neymar has admitted that he exaggerated some of his reactions after being fouled during the World Cup.

The 26-year-old was widely panned for instances of diving and playacting at Russia 2018 as the Selecao went out in the quarter-finals at the hands of Belgium.

Neymar has used a sponsor's advertisement with personal care company Gillette to declare that he accepts the criticism aimed his way, as well as vowing to bounce back from a tough tournament.

"Boot stud on the shins. Kick in the spine. Stomp on the foot. You may think I overreact, and sometimes I do," the Paris Saint-Germain star said in the advert. "But the truth is I suffer on the pitch. You have no idea what I go through outside of it.

"When I leave without talking to the press, it's not because I only like winning, it is because I still haven't learned to disappoint you. When I look impolite, it is not because I am a spoiled kid. It is because I have not learned how to deal with my frustrations.

"There's still a boy inside of me. Sometimes it dazzles the world. Other times, it ticks everyone off. And my fight is to keep this boy alive. But inside of me, not inside the field. You may think I've fallen too much, but the reality is I did not fall. I crumbled. And that hurts more than anyone stepping on your operated ankle.

"I took time to accept your criticism. I took time to look at myself in the mirror and become a new man. But now I'm here, with my heart wide open. I fell but only those who fall can get up. You can keep throwing rocks at me or you can throw your rocks away and help me get up because when I do get up, the whole country gets up with me."

Neymar scored two goals in the tournament, which was won by France.

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Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar in action against Strasbourg on February 17, 2018
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