Brazilian soccer star Neymar has been the subject of much criticism in recent days, following his dramatic roll on the pitch during a match against Mexico
The incident occurred after a Mexican player stepped on Neymar's foot, causing the Brazilian to fall to the ground and writhe in apparent pain.
Many viewers and commentators have criticized Neymar for his reaction, calling it overly dramatic and suggesting that he was faking injury in order to gain an advantage.
However, Neymar has now spoken out to defend himself and explain his actions.
In a statement released to the press, Neymar said that he was "hurt and frustrated" by the accusations that he was faking injury.
He explained that the pain he felt was real, and that he was simply trying to protect himself from further injury.
"I understand that some people may have thought my reaction was over the top, but it was just my natural response to the pain I was feeling," Neymar said.
"I was trying to protect myself, and I apologize if that caused any confusion or offense."
Neymar also took the opportunity to address the issue of diving and simulation in soccer, which has become a major concern in recent years.
He acknowledged that the sport has a problem with players exaggerating contact and faking injuries, but insisted that he is not one of them.
"I know that diving and simulation is a big issue in soccer, and I understand why people are so critical of it," Neymar said.
"But I want to be very clear: I do not dive or simulate injuries. I play with passion and intensity, and sometimes that can lead to exaggerated reactions."
He clarified that his pain was real and was just his natural response to protect himself from further injury.
He also made it clear that he doesn't dive or simulate injuries and wants to be a fair player.
Neymar's statement hopes to clear the air and put the focus back on his game.