Banana thrown at Brazilian players in soccer friendly in Paris
(Reuters) – It was a warm July evening in Paris and the world’s top footballers were taking part in an event marking the first World Cup in history.
Brazil’s World Cup stars such as Neymar, who has been a member of the squad for the tournament, were getting in a bit of football with local fans in a tournament organized by the City of Paris to celebrate the start of the competition.
But Neymar, who was in charge of the play, was not enjoying the experience. “It was not a match against a Brazilian team,” he said. The club he represented, Paris Saint-Germain, he said, “had no business being here”.
Brazil striker Thiago Silva also found the friendly an insult. “It is an insult to Brazilians,” he said. “At the World Cup we will take every match as we have taken their matches, and we will win.”
Silva joined Brazil at the tournament in South Africa eight years ago and won a goal and a penalty in the first match to lift Brazil to a 5-2 victory over Italy.
“I feel like when we play against teams from outside the region we don’t win,” said Silva. “And when a team from Brazil gets here, they tell us they are the best in the world. That is not the truth.”
The hosts have a number of their own players playing at the World Cup in France. Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was part of the squad in South Africa, and striker Fernando Torres has since earned a huge amount of media attention for his impact at the tournament.
But Brazil’s World Cup dream could be under threat by the presence of Brazilian players in France. For at least one, that is a concern.
Brazil’s Neymar, who has been a member of