Neymar reportedly threatened to boycott a World Cup qualifier moments after Brazil’s draw with Venezuela last Friday as the superstar unleashed a furious rant while walking down the tunnel. The 31-year-old was left fuming after appearing to be struck by a cardboard box filled with popcorn when he was walking off the pitch, which reportedly prompted him to demand the Brazilian FA president make changes or risk losing him for international selection.
The former Barcelona and PSG forward was in action for the Selecao on Friday night but things turned sour when Brazil conceded a late equaliser to the South American minnows, ending their 15-game winning streak with a 1-1 draw at the Arena Pantanal.
As Neymar walked off the pitch, he appeared to be struck by a popcorn box thrown from the home section of the crowd. The Al-Hilal star gazed up towards the stand as he tried to find the person responsible and launched a tirade at the person he felt was behind the random attack.
The incident left him raging as he continued down the tunnel where, according to local reporter Jose Carlos Araujo , he was met by Brazilian Football Federation president Ednaldo Rodrigues.
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And the furious Brazilian reportedly demanded that the national team never play in Cuiaba again, before he threatened to pull out of their next qualifier. The South American giants are due to face Uruguay on Tuesday evening (Wednesday at 1am UK time).
That would have proven to be a huge concern for Brazil’s interim coach Fernando Diniz, given that Neymar is Brazil’s all-time record goalscorer with 79 goals in 127 caps. He also has found the net twice so far in the 2026 qualifiers, providing three assists, highlighting his value to the team.
Diniz, who played his part in restraining Neymar from confronting the accused fan in question, backed his player after hitting out at the ‘disrespectful’ behaviour towards the Brazil icon.
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“I completely disapprove,” Diniz said in his post-match interview. “Cursing and booing is fine. Throwing a bag of popcorn doesn’t do anything for anyone. It’s disrespectful towards those who came to play and tried to do the best they could.”
But it seems Neymar’s words may have just been made in the heat of the moment, as the attacker was all smiles again when he arrived with his team-mates in the capital of Montevideo on Monday.
Neymar, who now plays in Saudi Arabia after a record £90million transfer to Al-Hilal in August, could be seen samba dancing with national team-mate Richarlison as the pair trained on the Centenario Stadium pitch on Monday evening.
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