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Neymar has spent 'nearly 14 minutes rolling on ground' since start of World Cup

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Neymar has spent 'nearly 14 minutes rolling on ground' since start of World Cup

Neymar has spent 'nearly 14 minutes rolling on ground' since start of World Cup
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Neymar's theatrics on the pitch have been a talking point of the 2018 FIFA World Cup so far, some might say even more than his two goals.

Such was the interest in the Brazilian forward's antics that Radio Télévision Suisse counted exactly how long his reactions after fouls had cost in injury time.

The result: Neymar Jr. has spent 13.50 minutes rolling on the ground, the result of 23 fouls in Brazil's first four matches of the competition.

Over five minutes were against Mexico

Neymar racked up 5.29 minutes of extra time in the round of 16 against Mexico. The longest interruption came when Layun stepped on the Brazil player's right ankle in the 71st minute, when stoppage went on for nearly two minutes.

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio criticised the Paris St-Germain player's behaviour, calling it "acting" and saying it was "not a good example for football".

Neymar himself spoke out after the game arguing "I just feel the pain."

REUTERS/David Gray

"I got stepped on unfairly. I think it was off the ball, outside the game. I don't think it should be done.

"But that's the thing, they (Mexico) talked too much before the game — and now they're going home," he added."

Is criticism motivated by racism?

Some Twitter users called out criticism of Neymar's behaviour saying it was racially motivated.

Others said Neymar wasn't the only one, citing players from the English and Spanish teams for being as guilty as the Brazilian of diving.

Is Neymar being targeted?

His fellow countryman Ronaldo also spoke out, saying the star was not getting enough protection from referees: “There are many ways to see football and interpret it. I am against all these opinions on Neymar acting.

“He is an intelligent player in his movement and on how to defend himself from being tackled.

“I don’t think referees have been protecting him enough.

“When people repeatedly hit me I would feel a sense of unfairness. Criticism is nonsense.”

Neymar's performance in terms of both goal scoring and diving will certainly be under scrutiny in their quarter-final match against Belgium on Friday.