Rio de Janeiro (AFP)
Rumors of a big end-of-year party organized by Neymar in Brazil in the midst of a pandemic have revived his image of a spoiled eternal child.
The entourage of the Paris Saint-Germain striker vigorously denies the information in the Brazilian media, but the silence of the player, normally active on social networks, speaks for itself.
When a young woman filed a rape complaint against him last year – a case that was ultimately dropped – the Brazilian soccer star was quick to reveal intimate exchanges of messages with his accuser.
This time he is silent. The same goes for his main sponsors, Puma, who snatched Neymar from Nike in September. Contacted by AFP, the German sporting goods manufacturer declined to comment.
The refusal to deny the holding of the party provoked a reaction from the Brazilian media.
“It would be much easier if Neymar went on social media and said he had nothing to do with it. LeBron James, Lewis Hamilton, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo are not throwing any parties, ”TV Globo’s Galvao Bueno said on Monday. evening.
Juca Kfouri, another veteran sports journalist, went further by speaking of “criminal irresponsibility” in a podcast on the UOL website.
“Not only is there nothing in his head, but he’s irresponsible, he’s a very bad example for Brazil,” Kfouri said, recalling that the 28-year-old striker has often appeared alongside the president of far right Jair Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly downplayed the importance of the virus.
Brazilian media have filled the silence of the supposed party.
Neymar reportedly scheduled a seven-day non-stop rave for 500 guests, bought a disused hangar to hide VIP helicopters and private jets.
– ‘He did not commit any crime’ –
After a string of seasons marred by injuries, big game failures and complaints about his dive when tackled, Neymar has helped Paris Saint-Germain reach their first Champions League final.
His image received another boost when he and Kylian Mbappe led Paris Saint-Germain players off the pitch after a match official made a racist remark against a coach of opponent Basaksehir three years ago. weeks in a Champions League match.
“Her image was improving, but she was again badly damaged, even though 2020 was one of its best years,” sports marketing consultant Erich Beting told AFP.
Bets don’t think the forward will lose sponsors.
“Often the language of contracts is quite rigid. Even though Neymar’s attitude may be morally reprehensible, he has committed no crime, ”said Beting.
State law in Rio de Janeiro does not prohibit parties in private residences. The municipal council of Mangaratiba, the seaside resort where Neymar owns a villa he uses for parties, said in a statement that he “did not have the power” to intervene.
“The problem with Neymar, used to organizing parties for his birthdays, is that he sends this idea of a disconnected type”, Jérôme Neveu, founding president of Avent, a French consulting firm specializing in celebrity marketing ” , told AFP in Paris.
“He’s very popular and has a lot of followers on social media, but he’s also pretty divisive. There are people who are huge fans who will forgive him almost anything, ”said Neveu. “On the other hand, there are those who forgive him nothing and ask him to set an example. ”
© 2020 AFP