In the wake of Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar’s public show of support for Brazil’s far-right incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro ahead of Sunday’s elections, two former Brazilians legends of Ligue 1 in Raí (ex-PSG) and Juninho (ex-Lyon) have spoken out against the controversial head of state.
The former free-kick specialist notably explained on RMC yesterday that Bolsonaro had “divided the country” and “exploits evangelicals because in Brazil, that’s very strong”, in “a country which doesn’t think for itself”. Juninho went on to explain that he was spending his days trying to speak to people about the situation, and that he feared that Bolsonaro would cause a political crisis after the voting. He concluded that if he were to speak to Neymar for ten minutes behind closed doors he would get him to “understand things”.
Raí – the younger brother of the late Sócrates, who famously fought in favour of democracy in Brazil – expressed his satisfaction to L’Équipe that the left-wing candidate, Lula – former president from 2003 to 2010 – was leading in the polls. He stated that he was “full of hope” and had “the impression that the nightmare is coming to an end. The experience has been cruel, destructive and barbaric, much like those who are in power.”
The former PSG man also expressed his fears that Bolsonaro would reject the results should he lose – “He has spent his whole mandate threatening democracy and the institutions. He’s often gone beyond the limits of what is acceptable” – but concluded that he did not believe the current president would be successful in doing so.