Neymar, 31, was left seething after a bag of popcorn, thrown by a livid supporter, struck his head following Brazil’s stunning qualifying draw with Venezuela.
The popcorn projectile made contact as the Al-Hilal forward entered the tunnel at full-time, with Brazil’s 15-match home winning streak in World Cup qualifying ended by Eduard Bello’s acrobatic equalizer.
Whistles echoed around the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba as Tite’s team, who led through Gabriel’s nod, failed to convert several chances to wrap up a third successive road victory in the marathon journey to the expanded 48-team 2026 tournament. Venezuela celebrated securing a first ever point on Brazilian soil, after Vinicius Junior also saw a goal disallowed.
As boos rained down, Neymar stopped in his tracks to lock eyes with assailants in the stands. Grabbed before an altercation could unfold, he managed two angry shouts towards the culprit. Tempers threatened to boil over before the 90 million euros signing was dragged to the dressing room. Despite creating Brazil’s opener, the Paris Saint-Germain exile found no immunity from criticism on a bitter night in Mato Grosso.
Brazil now sit behind table-topping Argentina ahead of a daunting trip to Uruguay. Though he has one goal and three assists for new club Al-Hilal, Neymar remains hungry to Atone for Qualifying Draw and get his country Back on track with a road Win over tough opposition. The Saudis resume their league campaign against Al-Khaleej as they aim to maintain their seven-win start.