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Neymar’s words during Lula’s victory over Bolsonaro in Brazil

The PSG player had publicly been supporting the extreme right for weeks, posing with the Brazilian flag as well as mentioning God on Instagram.

Neymar’s words during Lula’s victory over Bolsonaro in Brazil

Neymar had spent weeks supporting Jair Bolsonaro’s candidacy in the Brazilian elections. According to Lula da Silva, it was to be “one of the most important [elections] in history” because of the two “opposing projects of the country”. The Paris Saint-Germain footballer shared the occasional video on TikTok encouraging his followers to vote for the leader of the Liberal Party and assured that he would dedicate his first goal in the Qatar World Cup to him. But things have not gone as expected: it was Lula da Silva who prevailed at the polls, crowning himself again as president of the country.

While the vote count was taking place, which ended with Lula taking 50.9%, Neymar spoke out again on social media with a photograph in which he held the Brazilian flag with his finger pointing upwards while gazing towards the sky. There he asked for help: “May your will be done, God,” he said. A few words and a publication that made his father proud: “God, country, family and freedom. Thank you for being like this, for being born like this, with courage and faith. Our family and friends are very proud of you.”

Lula da Silva already spoke about the campaign that Neymar had carried out against him in the elections and showed some irony when talking about his motives: “I’m not angry. Neymar has the right to choose whoever he wants as president. I think he’s afraid that if I win the election, he’ll find out that Bolsonaro let him off for his income tax debt. I think that’s why he’s afraid of me.”

But the PSG star was not the only footballer to publicly support Bolsonaro. Felipe Melo (Fluminense) and Lucas Moura (Tottenham) did the same, as did former players such as Rivaldo, Romario, Marcos or Robinho, the latter sentenced in Italy to nine years in prison for rape and with the European country demanding his extradition from Brazil.

Why did the players support Bolsonaro?

Joao Malaia, historian and professor at the Federal University of Santa Maria de Rio Grande do Sul, has a clear idea and points out how Bolsonaro’s speech reaches out to a millionaire of humble origins: “In recent years there has been a very large growth of the right and mainly the extreme right. Soccer ends up being an expression of that movement (...). (The president’s speech) is very much based on individual success, on the ability of each one to overcome any difficulties. The career of a footballer is an example of that”, he explained to AFP.


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