Brazil’s Neymar lies on the ground during the round of 16 match between Brazil and Mexico at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Samara Arena, in Samara, Russia, Monday, July 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Van Basten urges Neymar to cut out theatrics

MOSCOW — FIFA’s technical director Marco van Basten says Neymar needs to cut down on theatrics after the Brazil star became a butt of jokes worldwide.

Van Basten says diving and simulating injury is “not a good attitude” and works against Neymar and his team.

The Netherlands great suggests “if you are acting too much I think everybody will understand that it’s not going to help you. I think he personally should understand his situation.”

Neymar was calculated to have spent almost 14 minutes on the turf injured or simulating injury during Brazil’s five World Cup games, sometimes dramatically rolling over on the ground before coming to a stop.

It started a trend in online videos of youth soccer teams practicing faking injury when their coach called out Neymar’s name.

Van Basten was asked about Neymar at a FIFA briefing analyzing tactics and technical skills at the World Cup.

He says Neymar “makes people laugh so also I think that’s a positive thing. It’s always nice if we have some humour in the game.”

The Associated Press

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