‘Neymar Challenge’ goes viral as fans mock the Brazil forward

Neymar Jnr may be one of the brightest talents in football, but he has become the butt of plenty of jokes following his ridiculous antics at the World Cup.

The Brazil forward was tipped for big things in Russia this summer but failed to shine as his side crashed out of the quarter-finals to Belgium. Not only that, but his penchant for feigning injury caused significant damage to his reputation.

Time and again, Neymar attempted to get an opposing player in trouble by making the most out of innocuous challenges. He would yelp in pain only to miraculously rise to his feet minutes or even seconds later.

Although his time in Russia has now come to an end, his impact on the tournament endures and the ‘Neymar Challenge’ has become an Internet hit.

The aim of the game is to imitate the footballer’s antics in the most public place possible, and there have already been thousands of efforts posted to social media.

A group of Mexico fans made a nuisance of themselves as they went down in the middle of what appeared to be a busy fun fair. NHL mascot SJ Sharkie also completed a fine impression of the man PSG paid £198million to sign.

The most elaborate efforts came from football summer camps with children learning how to play football the Neymar way during their training sessions.

Neymar experienced several low moments at this summer’s World Cup. First, he was left embarrassed after the referee awarded him a penalty against Costa Rica only to overturn it after consulting the VAR.

Replays revealed he had thrown himself to the ground after the slightest touch from Costa Rica defender Giancarlo Gonzalez. Brazil would go onto win that game 2-0 with two late goals, one being via Neymar himself.

Another was during Brazil’s 2-1 reverse against Belgium. The 26-year-old tried to con the referee by throwing his leg into Marouane Fellaini’s and going down in the box. The referee was wise to the con and waved away his appeal for a penalty.

He should have been booked for simulation but escaped unpunished. However, his antics may have caused irreversible damage to his standing among fans.

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