Neymar conveyed a message of encouragement to Real Madrid star Rodrygo, who disclosed that he experienced racist abuse online following Brazil’s loss to Argentina.
The forward engaged in a verbal dispute with Lionel Messi during their narrow 1-0 defeat in the 2026 World Qualifying fixture at Maracana on Tuesday.
Reports indicated that Neymar accused Argentina of “acting like cowards,” prompting Messi to respond, “We are the world champions, how are we cowards? Watch your mouth.”
After the match, several Argentine fans attacked him racially on social media which prompted the forward to write: “Racists are always active. My social networks have been invaded with insults and all kinds of nonsense. If we don’t do what they want, if we don’t behave as they think we should, if we wear something that bothers them, if we don’t lower our heads when we are attacked, if we occupy spaces that they think is theirs, racists take action with all this criminal behaviour. But it’s their bad luck, we will not stop!”
Neymar, currently nursing a serious knee injury, stood by his compatriot and wrote on Instagram: “Teu brilho incomoda Nao pare nunca! (Your shine bothers them; don’t ever stop)”.
Following the verbal altercation, Rodrygo’s father criticized Messi and Rodrigo De Paul while defending his son. He posted two pictures of Messi, one showing a heated argument with Rodrygo and another where the Argentine is seen grabbing the neck of a Uruguayan player in a previous encounter.
Along with the pictures, he wrote: “Is anyone surprised. The little saint who never causes trouble with anyone.”