Because the No. 10 carries a lot of weight in fútbol – it is after all the number that greats like Messi and James Rodríguez wear – a boy was able to make a bold statement during the Rio Olympics. On Monday, the young fan identified only as Bernardo attended a judo match and wore a seleção brasileira jersey that struck out Neymar Jr.’s name multiple times. Below it, printed in neat capital letters read the name Marta, with a red heart directly next to it. Essentially, he traded one of Brazil’s best athletes for another.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, Bernardo explains that he’s a fan of the women’s Brazilian team because they’re crushing it. “Marta is passionate, she likes to play soccer,” he said. “Brazil’s female [soccer] team, winning everything like they are, killing it, to me is a symbol, a symbol of feminism in Brazil. They are the best to me. I think she completely deserves it. She deserves this shirt much more than Neymar.” He flashed a smile, as someone off-camera tells him that he’s going to be an amazing grown-up.
And while there’s a lot of support for this kid, some haters say he desecrated Neymar’s jersey. But if you really look at it, he’s not wrong. With one group game to go, Brazil’s men have disappointed. The team failed to score a single goal against South Africa and Iraq, winding up on the receiving end of jeers from the home fans. The men could stand to “play like girls,” as the women delivered convincing victories over China and Sweden. Marta will now face a quarterfinal match against Australia.