This World Cup has not only exposed the shortcomings of leading footballing nations but also the frailty of Brazilian star, Neymar. He has repeatedly been tumbling onto the field, injured by the fleeting touches of opposing players. And while winning critical acclaim from thespians globally, his actions have left other teams wary and confused.
In a shocking break from tradition, the Belgian team has announced that they will not shake hands with the Brazilians before their quarterfinal encounter. “A handshake is a very intrusive greeting, and with so much palm contact, there is a high possibility of hurting Neymar,” explained Martinez, the Belgian coach. Tite, the Brazilian coach was livid, “This is utter nonsense! Neymar is a respected hand-shaker, both on and off the field. We have never had any complaints and we want our greeting!”
Other countries have pitched in to help stave off FIFA’s most significant crisis to date. The Indian government has offered Namaste as a completely safe option and even sent across a slick Yoga video that is currently being analyzed in the VAR room. The Japanese have suggested deep traditional bows, but scientists are concerned whether Neymar can withstand the centrifugal force generated by so many simultaneously bending bodies. The most feasible option has come from the French – players gently air-kissing each other. While acceptable to most players, Lukaku has expressed concerns about his beard inadvertently brushing against the svelte superstar’s cheek. FIFA officials are reportedly trying to convince him to shave.
Meanwhile, the world waits with bated breath to see how Belgium will greet Neymar on July 6th.