For better or worse Brazil star Neymar grabbed a lot of headlines at this World Cup. Before his team's exit at the hands of Belgium the PSG star hogged the limelight with his constant injury problems, Instagram posts, outpourings of emotion and most notably his on field play acting.
Indeed some of the most enduring images from Russia include the 26-year-old, writhing on the ground, exaggerating whatever contact had been made on him.
As a result of his theatrics, Brazil's talisman became the butt of many a joke, but seems to have drawn the chagrin of John Aldridge, who celebrated the player's exit from the competition in his column in the Sunday World:
I was delighted to see Belgium beating Brazil in a thrilling quarter-final as it meant the diving little cheat that is Neymar was sent home in a game that continued the trend of brilliant and exciting matches at a wonderful World Cup. I was delighted to see Neymar dumped on his ass once and for all by Belgium.
Aldridge went on to say that the player spends most of his time in every game working out methods to cheat his way to winning free-kicks and penalties, which rings true given his desperate attempt to win a penalty off of Marouane Fellaini in the second half of his team's quarter final. Indeed a large part of his game seems to revolve around drawing fouls from opponents and the former Ireland international lamented the impact that the forward could have on children watching at home:
This guy is a role model for millions of kids around the world and he has a great platform to promote a good image for the game, but he does precisely the opposite.
Aldridge's point about Neymar being a role model is a valid one, though it seems like even children can't stomach Neymar's antics, with this Belgian soccer camp expertly trolling the former Barcelona forward:
You can read John Aldridge's full column in today's edition of the Sunday World.