Brazil’s star player Neymar may not have led his country’s team to World Cup glory but his numerous falls on the pitch ensured he remained an internet favourite even after Brazil crashed out of the competition.
So creative were Neymar’s — at times — exaggerated dives that they’ve allowed Brazilian designer Luciano Jacob to create a whole alphabet.
The artist based in Ireland created the “Ney Type”, a complete A to Z typeface, by using pictures of the Brazilian striker rolling around on the pitch.
Inspiration struck during Brazil’s second World Cup match when Neymar fell to the ground and laid there with his arms wide open.
“It looked like the letter T,” Jacob told Euronews.
— euronews (@euronews) July 13, 2018
An online image search followed and Jacob realised that, with just a few Photoshop tweaks, he could recreate the alphabet.
“It was very difficult. I searched the Internet for some of his falls to have the parts I needed to assemble the letters,” he explained.
He released the finished result on his Facebook page on July 10 pondering if Neymar was maybe “trying to send us a message.”
It went viral, receiving over 10,000 likes and being shared more than 47,000 times.
“I feel very good. I knew that the idea had potential, but I did not expect it to have such an impact, ” Jacob said.
For the designer, the alphabet was intended to “make people laugh” and not to criticise Neymar, although he conceded that the player’s actions were “a bit dramatic” at times.
Neymar challenge and memes
Many World Cup watchers poked fun at Neymar for his on-pitch antics, flooding social media platforms with memes.
When you touch Neymar pic.twitter.com/7pYXCDvAcy
— Football Memes (@FootballMemesCo) July 2, 2018
— Rodriguez ???? (@RRWWE) July 2, 2018
It also led to the birth of the Neymar challenge where people throw themselves to the floor and exaggeratedly roll around.
İsviçre Futbol klüpleri alt yapılarında “futbol eğitimi”ne “Neymar egzersizleri” ni de eklemiş!! pic.twitter.com/hpz5cuxUSP
— Nihat Behram (@nihatbehramoglu) July 5, 2018
Fast-food chain KFC even released an advert inspired by Neymar.