World of Sport

Neymar wins penalty with outrageous dive… Or does he?

Here's a video that is required viewing for both England's defence and the match officials taking charge of Wednesday night's England v Brazil friendly at Wembley: it's of 20-year-old Brazilian superstar Neymar winning perhaps the most dubious penalty you've ever seen.

At least, we think it is. On first viewing World of Sport thought it was a nailed-on offence by Sao Paulo defender Paulo Miranda. On the second viewing, we were horrified at the scale of Neymar's crime as he won the penalty which helped his team to a 3-1 win. On the third viewing our outrage at his blatant dive increased.

But on the fourth viewing, we weren't so sure. Obviously it looks bad that Neymar runs three steps, realises he's not going to get to the ball, and then dives to the turf.

Yet what seems so clear in slow motion doesn't look as bad at full speed. Miranda definitely seems to have clipped Neymar, his knee making contact with the striker's right boot at the very end of the challenge. The question is whether the contact did enough to unbalance his run and ultimately send him sprawling to the turf.

Either way, it's pretty clear that the next legend of the game is a bit of a slippery customer - and somebody that England's defence will have a tough time stopping during the 150th anniversary friendly between the nations.

Wednesday's live view of Neymar - who has scored six goals in his last eight games for his country - is a rare glimpse for European fans of one of football's greatest treasures.

Let's hope we get to see more of his crafty wiles after the 2014 World Cup, following which he is expected to make a big money move to one of Europe's top clubs.