Science

World Cup 2018 memes: Brazil’s Neymar takes Oscar-worthy dive – CNET

Diving: It's not just limited to swimming pools and ocean cliffs. In Friday's World Cup action, Brazilian star Neymar's team beat Costa Rica 2-0, but he didn't get away with a now-infamous dive.

On the way to the victory, Neymar, barely touched by defenders, flopped on his back as if to hint the refs should call a foul. The referee went along with Neymar at first, but consulted the tournament's controversial new video assistant referee system and changed his mind.

Viewers quickly made the failed flop into a meme.

"Neymar for best actor," joked several, while others dug up GIFs of various actors falling or fainting to compare to the player's dive.

"Who does Neymar think he is? Neo? The Matrix has found its new actor," said one Twitter user.

But Neymar also won praise for his jaw-dropper of a rainbow flick (an impressive trick where the player propels the ball up and over, like the arch of a rainbow). Some loved it, others thought it was disrespectful, generally depending on whether they were rooting for or against Brazil.

Said one Twitter user: "(I) would like to retract my tweet from a week-and-a-half ago promising pints or something if there was a rainbow flick at the World Cup." Another pointed out, "Hey guys, he lost the ball here, just thought I'd let you know." But some were suitably impressed, with one saying, "It's football mate. Love seeing this kind of thing. Better than kicking it against his shins to win a corner."

Neymar Rainbow Flick ??? pic.twitter.com/wyJXYzExHb

— InterYaSkriniar ??????????? (@InterYaSkriniar) June 22, 2018

I'd have flown to Russia and bought that defender a pint of whatever he wants had he just punched neymar square in the face as he did that rainbow flick. Pack it in.

— Morris ⚽? (@morris1986) June 22, 2018

Hey guys he lost the ball here, just thought Id let you know.

— James Manktelow ??????? (@JamesManktelow) June 22, 2018

Now show the other angle with the handball..

— Benno (@Bluewurst1875) June 22, 2018

It's football mate. Love seeing this kind of thing. Better than kicking it against his shins to win a corner

— T (@Neilturner83) June 22, 2018

But Neymar wasn't done making headlines, as he scored in the final moments to put the game away, falling to his knees in tears as the game ended. "The emotions are pouring out for Neymar after the dramatic victory," noted CBS Sports. (CBS is CNET's parent company.)

Neymar's late goal puts him past Romario in sole possession of 3rd all-time on Brazil's top scorers list with 56 goals.

He now only trails Pelé (77) and Ronaldo (62). ?? pic.twitter.com/RaeowO2Oom

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 22, 2018

?? Brazil's all-time leading goal-scorers:

Pele – 77
Ronaldo – 62
NEYMAR – 56
Romario – 55

He's 26 years old. pic.twitter.com/yKwjOmqB7N

— Team FA ??????? (@TeamFA) June 22, 2018

In other games, Switzerland beat Serbia 2-1 in a match with some behind-the-scenes drama. Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri play for Switzerland, but have roots in Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but is not recognized as a state by Serbia. Both scored goals, and both used their hands to make the double-headed eagle sign of Albania after doing so. Shaqiri also ripped off his shirt, Incredible Hulk-style.

"Significant celebration from Xhaka," Ian Greenhill wrote on Twitter. "An ethnic Albanian Serb whose family had to flee Kosovo from Serbia and his father was put in prison for 3 years protesting Yugoslavian rule. He does the Albanian Eagle — the symbol of Albania."

"Every time their teacher called out attendance, Xhaka and Shaqiri were reminded that, despite living in Switzerland, they were still Albanian," wrote Twitter user Breaking the Lines in a lengthy thread. "Every time they go 'home,' they speak Albanian. You can change your passport, but you can never change your blood."

Significant celebration from Xhaka. An ethnic Albanian Serb whose family had to flee Kosovo from Serbia and his father was put in prison for 3 years protesting Yugoslavian rule. He does the Albanian Eagle – the symbol of Albania. #worldcup

— Ian Greenhill ? (@ohjawbone) June 22, 2018

Every time their teacher called out attendance, Xhaka and Shaqiri were reminded that, despite living in Switzerland, they were still Albanian. Every time they go “home,” they speak Albanian.

You can change your passport, but you can never change your blood.

— Breaking The Lines (@BTLvid) June 22, 2018

Dude ate a surf board

— Devowilliam (@devowilliAM) June 22, 2018

I aint telling Xherdan Shaqiri to put his shirt back on… ?? #SRBSUI

— Richard Willis (@elephande) June 22, 2018

And in the day's other game, Nigeria beat Iceland, the tiniest country in the World Cup, 2-0. But some say the real winner was Nigeria's colorful kit (uniform), featuring a lime green and black zigzag design.

Even before the World Cup began, one Twitter user cracked, "If we're going by kits alone, it would seem that Nigeria and Germany are already in the finals."

Although not everyone loved it, with one person posting, "Am I the only one who doesn't like Nigeria's kit?" Yes. Yes, you might just be.

Finally Nigeria are playing as good as their kit #NGAISL

— Football Daily (@footballdailyuk) June 22, 2018

Don't go away. The World Cup returns Saturday with three more games, including defending champ Germany taking on Sweden.

World Cup 2018: Find out how to watch, learn some trivia and more.

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