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Neymar: “If you want to see me kicked – watch MMA instead!”

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Neymar has hit back at those who criticise his showboating playing style by telling them to watch mixed martial arts (MMA) or boxing instead.

The Brazilian forward, who is known for his flair, has a reputation for drawing fouls from his opponents. This has seen critics lash out at him for reacting theatrically when fouled upon.

In the 2018 World Cup, Neymar’s theatrics at Russia got more attention than his performances with fans even going on to create games called “Neymar Challenge” and the “Neymar Alphabet“.

Despite this, however, Neymar’s technical and dribbling abilities as a footballer remain unquestioned. Very few players on the planet can emulate the same tricks he performs on an almost weekly basis for Paris Saint-Germain.

Although two serious metatarsal injuries have hindered his progress in France, which may have come about from the rough treatment he receives from opposition defenders.

“It may be because of how I play, the way my opponents get upset,” Neymar told Fox Sports Brazil.

“People start to give the right to the one who gives the fouls, rather than the one who dribbles, to the one who makes a mistake rather than the one who scores a goal.

“My best quality has always been dribbling. I have never stopped looking for the best version of myself in the field.

“My style is what brings the fans and the crowd to the stadium. Nobody wants to come and see kicks. If you want that, you can watch MMA or boxing.”

Neymar made his return to competitive action last Sunday in a 45-minute cameo during PSG’s 3-1 win over AS Monaco.

Thomas Tuchel’s side were crowned Ligue 1 champions on the very same day. Thus, it’s likely they will take it easy for the final five league games of the season.

Before they can completely ease off, though, PSG will first have to beat Rennes in the Coupe de France final on Saturday. Kick-off will begin at 21:00 (CET).

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 16: Neymar of Brazil in action during the International Friendly between Brazil and Uruguay at Emirates Stadium on November 16, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)