Brazil forward Neymar Junior was the most talked about player on Twitter globally while Portugal's Christiano Ronaldo was the most talked about player in India during the group stage of the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018.
After the group stage concluded, micro-blogging website Twitter has compiled metrics and visualizations that illustrate how the conversation has unfolded on the platform since the mega carnival started.
The PSG star has hogged the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. His playacting has been the fodder for innumerous memes across the social media platforms and the player has failed to perform except for a stoppage-time strike in a 2-0 win over Costa Rica. His emotional frailty was also laughed at in social media and raised fears among the Brazil supporters of a repeat of the infamous 7-1 defeat. Germany
thrashed a 'broken' Selecao squad after they came to the pitch teary eyed due to Neymar's injury.
Neymar's recent playacting where he rolls like a wheel was also mocked on by Manchester United legend Eric Cantona, who compared Neymar with his yellow luggage. While Neymar has received backlash from players and supporters alike, the Brazilian coach Tite and his players back their number 10.
Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who took the final penalty that secured the nation's Quarter Finals berth, believes that Neymar is on the verge of recapturing his best form after an inauspicious start to the World Cup in Russia. Rakitic believes his former Barcelona
teammate is improving every day.
"He is among the best in the world and he is getting better during this tournament," Rakitic told a press conference.
"You can tell he is thinking less and less about the injury and I am sure we are all going to enjoy his football during this tournament."
In addition to his lacklustre form, Neymar has been accused by sections of Brazil's media of "playing for himself" and of seeking attention by crying on the pitch after the match against Costa Rica.
Rakitic defended Neymar and said the Paris Saint-Germain forward should not change the way he plays to please critics. "Neymar is among my favourite players in the world," he said.
Brazil play their group of 16 match against Mexico on Monday at Samara stadium
while Croatia is already through to the Quarterfinals.
Apart from Neymar, the Group E tie between Brazil and Costa Rica saw the most conversation on Twitter during the Group Stage.