Brazilian football star Neymar da Silva has admitted to “exaggerated” reactions during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Paris Saint Germain forward was ridiculed around the world for his antiques on the pitch, as some football fans felt he often dived to win fouls.
In a 90-second video made for his sponsor Gillette and published on social media accounts and Brazilian television, Neymar sought to win back fans who criticised his behaviour.
“Studs on my calf, knee in my back, stamp on my foot,” he said. “You might think I exaggerate and sometimes I really do exaggerate. But the fact is that I suffer on the field.
“There’s still a child inside me. Sometimes he enchants the world and sometimes he irritates the world.”
Brazil went into the World Cup as one of the favourites, but fell to Belgium in the quarter-final stage.
After the tournament, Neymar told fans in his homeland he was working to become a better person and deal with the disappointments football threw at him.
“When I seem rude, it’s not because I am a spoilt child, it’s because I haven’t learnt to deal with frustration,” he said in a voiceover.”
“It’s taken me time to accept your criticism, it’s taken me time to look into the mirror and transform myself into a new man. But I am here, with a new face and an open heart. I fell down but only those that fell down can get up.
“You can keep throwing stones or throw those stones away and help me stand. When I stand on my own two feet, all of Brazil stands with me.”