Neymar is hoping to change minds…
The 29-year-old Brazilian professional footballer and Paris Saint-Germain star believes an upcoming Netflix documentary about his life will help people get to know him and like him better.
Directed by David Charles Rodriguez, the documentary will be released later this month.
“Those who know me, know who I am and that’s what matters to me,” Neymar told ESPN. “As for those who don’t know me and just speak bad things about me, I just put them aside, but I hope they can still watch this documentary and hopefully it can change their idea or the image they have of me, and I hope they can learn to like me … even a little!
“Few people really know the real me. Just my closest friends, my family, some teammates and now I feel I can show a bit more of my life, of how I am on my day to day, at work, at home, how I am as a father, a son, a brother, and I hope this documentary shows that side to people. It’s what we’ve worked on, we’re showing the truth, 100% and that’s what matters most.”
The Brazil international stated earlier this season after becoming his country’s all-time leading scorer in World Cup qualifying games that he doesn’t receive the respect he deserves from the media and fans in his homeland.
The former Santos and Barcelona star has come under heavy criticism in the past for his behavior on the pitch, with memes of the player diving dominating social media sites.
Neymar is known for hosting lavish celebrations with big personalities in attendance, inevitably drawing media attention. However, he said he will never stop partying despite claims he is immature.
Neymar attended a New Year’s Eve party in crutches, leading to criticism in Brazil that he wasn’t taking care of himself. He reacted to suggestions that he is not taking care of himself during his recovery from an ankle injury sustained in November by posting a photograph on Instagram in which he is seen wearing a mask in a high-tech oxygen chamber.
Neymar has said in the past that criticism made him question his game but added the title of the documentary The Perfect Chaos is a reflection of his life.
“The perfect chaos because my life has always been like that,” Neymar said. “Ever since I was 6 months old, I was in an accident with my parents and well, that’s when the chaos began. We recovered after and nothing happened to me … then after I became a footballer and of course, I’ve had very happy moments, but I’ve still had a lot of chaos in my life.
“But in all this chaos, things have worked out perfectly because I have a very good life, and I’m very grateful for everything, for my family, for all my friends, for all God has done in my life and well, that’s why I think this title is perfect because I’ve had a lot of problems, but things have worked out well.”
Neymar also said his mental strength has helped him succeed.
“You must have your head on straight, so you don’t fall or crumble,” he said. “Family and friends are important, but my teammates, too. They’re always behind me so that when I have a sad day they can help with a word or a hug to make me feel better.
“But I think now I am strong. I’m a strong man, not just physically but in my head too because I have to deal with so much pressure, because of who I am, because of where I play, because I’m Brazilian and a lot of other things. But I have a strong head now and I’ve had to work very hard to get it that way and I think that that is the other really good thing about me, that not only can I play football, but I’ve focused on my mental health.”