'Thank you so much, Kerala': Neymar pens emotional note for Brazil fans in Indian state
While widespread support for teams like Brazil and Argentina is a common sight in Kerala when the World Cup is on, the festivities has caught the attention of the world during the ongoing tournament in Qatar.
Brazil star Neymar thanked fans of the team in the Indian state of Kerala after their FIFA World Cup campaign came to an end. Fans taking to the streets to express support for their favourite teams with elaborate decorations is a common sight in Kerala during the World Cup but this time, the festivities was noticed around the world.
Images of giant cut-outs of Neymar, Argentina's Lionel Messi and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo over the state's Pullavoor river was acknowledge by FIFA themselves and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took to Twitter to thank FIFA.com for acknowledging 'Kerala's love and unmatched passion for football.' "Kerala and Keralites have always loved football and it is on full display with #Qatar2022 around the corner. Thank you @FIFAcom for acknowledging our unmatched passion for the sport," Vijayan had written in the caption of his tweet.
ALSO READ | ‘Messi doesn’t scare us’: France star ahead of World Cup final against Argentina
Now, Neymar has acknowledged the cut outs and festivities himself, stating through the Instagram handle of his website that affection for him and Brazil has come from artists around the world. “O carinho chega de todas as artes do mundo! (Affection comes from all the arts in the world) Thank you so much, Kerala, India,” said the caption to the post. Neymar reposted the ‘Neymar Fans Welfare Association’, who had put up a pic of a young boy sitting on a grown man's shoulder, both of them wearing Neymar's Brazil jersey, and looking at the cut out.
Brazil quickly emerged as favourites to win the tournament due to the dearth of international stars they had and the kind of football that they were playing. It looked like they were set to sail to the semi-finals after Neymar's wonderfully worked first goal of the tournament gave them a late 1-0 lead against Croatia. However, Croatia equalised and their goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic pulled off a series of great saves to force the match into penalties. Brazil ended up losing the shootout, in which Neymar didn't take a kick, 4-2 and thus crashed out of the tournament in stunning fashion.