Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Neymar is famous for his stepovers, but it was his World Cup hair do-over that really got Brazilians talking Tuesday.
The world’s most expensive footballer was underwhelming in Brazil’s 1-1 World Cup opener against Switzerland on Sunday.
His coif, however, featuring shaved sides and a blond-dyed mop at the front, was unmissable.
The look sent Brazilian social media’s ruthless meme machine into overdrive, juxtaposing Neymar alongside everything from a lookalike llama to the contents of a Pot Noodle or a packet of angel hair pasta.
“The Brazilian star went onto the field disguised as a cockatoo,” the Meia Hora tabloid wrote on its front page.
Many questioned, in all seriousness, whether Neymar hadn’t been put off his game by thinking too much about his hair.
So there was national relief when the superstar was photographed at the team’s Sochi base with the offending noodles-feathers part of his hair snipped off.
“After criticisms, Neymar gets rid of his controversial haircut,” the celebrity news site popzone.tv wrote.
“It could be superstition or just coincidence, but Neymar has decided to change his look again after the 1-1 draw,” the leading globoesporte site said.
But there could be more surprises to come.
Estadao newspaper reported that Neymar brought two hairdressers with him to Russia: Nariko, who does the cutting, and Wagner Tenorio, who handles the coloring.