I've Now Spent A Small Portion Of My Life Watching Neymar Cry

I’m not trying to say that he’s mentally weak or a crybaby, it’s just weird that he’s bared his soul to me this many times.

“Crying and tears may be favored by natural selection because they bring about helping behavior by the spectator. This helping behavior is explained by the assumption that crying and tears ‘imitate’ some of the perceivable characteristics of a baby that has just been born.”  — Frans Roes

Neymar is a sensational dribbler. Neymar gets waxed a lot by defenders as a means of stopping said dribbling. The Brazilian is often protecting himself with what detractors claim to be theatrics, but he’s obviously no saint himself — his dramatics can certainly toe the line between self-preservation and self-harm. 

We saw evidence of both today. 

The Good

The Bad

But I’m not here to talk about that specifically. I'm here to talk about the byproduct of all that dribbling — the tears that are bubbling beneath the surface of every step over and sombrero.

I just think it’s weird that I’ve seen Neymar burst into tears more than anyone else in my life. I’ve been in long-term relationships. I have friends I’ve known for decades. I know people who suffer, people who wear their hearts on their sleeves. And when you see them cry, when you see them in pain, your own heart pangs.

I don’t know Neymar. I’ve never spoken with him, and I’m pretty positive I never will. But I’ve never been there for someone like I’ve been there for Neymar. His tears have somehow worked their way into the fabric of my own existence, and that's really weird.

I watched him breakdown today.

I watched him cry when he saw his childhood room reconstructed.

I watched him cry when he was injured against Marseille. 

I watched him cry when Tite defended him. 

I watched him cry after Barcelona lost to Juventus.

I watched him cry when Barcelona beat Juventus.

I watched him cry when he won the gold.

I watched him cry when the national anthem played. 

I watched him cry after he was injured at the last World Cup. 

I watched him cry when he left Santos. 

These are just a few examples. I’ve seen Neymar cry more, and it’s strange in a way that I can’t explain. It has nothing to do with masculinity. Maybe it’s because the relationship is just so one-sided. I’ve always been non-present shoulder to lean on for Neymar, but he’s never been there when I’ve needed a good cry.