Neymar endorses Jair Bolsonaro for Brazil election in TikTok and Instagram videos

Football star shares support for Brazil's president in his re-election campaign

Brazil's star forward Neymar celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the friendly football match between Brazil and Tunisia. AFP
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Football star Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, known as Neymar, was swept up in Brazil's presidential election campaign after posting a video on social media thanking President Jair Bolsonaro for visiting the player's charitable children's foundation.

The Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil striker did not get into politics in the brief message to Mr Bolsonaro, posted on Wednesday, four days out from Sunday's vote.

But that did not stop Mr Bolsonaro's camp from playing up the video from one of the country's biggest stars, as the far-right incumbent seeks a come-from-behind win against leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who leads in the polls.

“Hello, President Bolsonaro … I wanted to thank you for your illustrious visit,” Neymar said on Instagram.

“I would have loved to be there with you, but unfortunately I'm too far away … I hope you enjoyed your visit to the institute, which is the greatest goal of my life.”

Neymar posted another TikTok video showing him dancing to a pro-Bolsonaro song on Thursday afternoon.

Communications Minister Fabio Faria and Mr Bolsonaro's senator son Flavio promptly reposted the video on Twitter.

The message came after Mr Bolsonaro visited the Neymar Jr Institute, a charitable foundation the football star founded in 2014 that runs educational, cultural and sports programmes for 3,000 underprivileged children in the south-eastern city of Praia Grande, where Neymar grew up.

Bolsonaro supporters have adopted the yellow-and-green jersey of Brazil's national team as a symbol of support for the president, along with the Brazilian flag.

“Let's all go yellow and green with the national team's jersey to vote for our captain Sunday,” Mr Faria tweeted.

Updated: September 29, 2022, 10:20 PM