A video has been circulating on social media since May 6, 2022 in which football player Neymar Jr. supposedly declares support for the current president of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, in the October 2022 elections. But the publications, which add up to almost 4 thousand shares, are misleading. The recording is from 2014, when the athlete declared that he would vote for the PSDB presidential candidate, Aécio Neves, in the second round of the election that year.
“The team’s top scorer goes to the world cup and doesn’t stay on the fence. Neymar votes for the myth votes 22. Votes for Bolsonaro. #BolsonaroReelectedEm2022”says one of the posts shared on Facebook (1, 2), Tik Tok and Twitter (1, 2).
Next, Neymar appears talking about the importance of voting and taking a political stand. Then, images of the player’s encounters with Bolsonaro are shown.
Screenshot taken on June 13, 2022 of a Facebook post ( . / )
Neymar’s speech was not, however, about the current president.
A search for keywords “Neymar”, “support” and “vote” on the player’s YouTube channel led to the viral video, with a longer duration, in which the current Paris Saint-Germain ace declares his choice for the second round of the 2014 presidential elections, when he opted for the then PSDB candidate, Aécio Neves . At the time, the toucan lost to Dilma Rousseff (PT).
In the video posted on YouTube by Neymar on October 23, 2014, the player appears with the same outfit and hairstyle seen in the recording shared in current publications. In the viral content, however, the passage in which he nominally declares his vote for Aécio Neves was omitted.
At the beginning of the video, Neymar makes a small statement about the importance of voting: “We cannot be afraid to take a stand. It is our democratic right to choose a candidate. On the 26th, we will have two options, two candidates, simple as that. Null and blank votes will not change our country. Choosing your candidate cannot be a pitched battle and I also understand that it is not a struggle between good and evil.”.
With a minute of recording, Neymar says: “I will support candidate Aécio Neves because I identify a lot with the proposal he has for Brazil, but I am sure that whatever the result on Sunday, I will remain at the disposal of my country and the president-elect by the people”.
Using CrowdTangle, a social media monitoring tool, Checamos did a second search, this time for keywords “Bolsonaro”, “Jair Bolsonaro” and “president”, and restricting the period to the last four years, on the player’s Facebook page and on his Instagram profile. The research did not find any manifestation of support for the current president of the Republic.
A Google search for keywords “Neymar”, “support” and “election” led to a video published on the AFP Portuguese YouTube channel in which Neymar commented on the election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018. At no time does the player say he supported the then PSL candidate.
At the end of the viral video, images were inserted of when Bolsonaro met Neymar in Brazilian team games during the 2019 Copa América, played in the country.
The president himself maintains publications with Neymar on his social networks (1, 2). In one of the photos included in the video, the player wears the same clothes as when he met Bolsonaro and, together, they watched the game between Brazil and Peru at Maracanã, on July 7, 2019.
Another interaction between Bolsonaro and Neymar took place in April 2019, when the Brazilian president recorded a video alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, inviting player and surfer Gabriel Medina to visit Israel. In response, the two athletes sent videos thanking the invitation.
Sought by Checamos, Neymar’s press office clarified that the video used in the publications was “fake”.
Similar content was checked by Estadão Verifies, Aos Fatos and Agência Lupa.