After the World Cup hosts had beaten South Africa 5-0 in a friendly on Wednesday night, a young fan – believed to be just seven years old – invaded the pitch to try and meet his idols.
Soccer City Stadium security staff in Johannesburg were set to remove the child in typically heavy-handed fashion.
But the quick-thinking Neymar – who has a young son of his own – instead picked the boy up and, with his trademark beaming smile, held him aloft before introducing him to team-mates.
Brazil team-mate David Luiz recorded the event on his phone, with Neymar posting the images on Instagram:
Press photographers also got in on the act, so you can enjoy the moment in high resolution below:
The gesture was reminiscent of the time Cristiano Ronaldo allowed a pitch-invading fan to engage in a lingering hug, before writing a letter to authorities to help him escape prosecution.
But Neymar’s intervention was even more touching, a moment which will always live in the memory of the young boy.
It makes a change from the current headlines surrounding Neymar, whose transfer to Barcelona has cost one executive his job, and the club millions of euros in fines.
Spare a thought for the slightly less young, slightly less cute youth who also invaded the pitch - as the child is hoisted aloft by Brazil, the older lad is being manhandled by security. Hopefully they took it easy on him...
Otherwise, hurrah for Neymar!
- Sports & Recreation