Ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics, vendors stocked up on yellow soccer jerseys sporting number 10 and the name of Brazilian superstar Neymar.
But after a disappointing performance against Iraq Sunday (Aug. 7) by the men’s national team—which tied 0-0—some Brazilians are crossing out his name and replacing it with “Marta,” the captain of the female national team, who also wears number 10. She’s led Brazil to two overwhelming wins during the Olympics so far.
(“An image is worth more than a thousand words,” reads this tweet.)
In a video, a boy with the modified shirt explains his change of heart.
“She deserves to be on that shirt a lot more than Neymar,” he says.
Others have followed.
These fans had to resort to markers because there’s a shortage of “Marta” jerseys (link in Portuguese,) according to O Globo. The coveted yellow shirt is hard to find at both official and informal vendors, the Brazilian newspaper reported. Meanwhile there appears to be an oversupply of Neymar jerseys.
A Brazilian actor lamented on Facebook that “I can’t have a shirt of the national team with the name of one of the best football players in the world simply because of some medieval presumption of the market that a man would not use a shirt with a name such as MARTA.”
Brazil’s female soccer players have traditionally not been as celebrated (or as well paid) as their male counterparts. That may change soon though, now that many Brazilian fans are taking to social media to give Marta their vote of confidence–and snatch it away from Neymar. This meme shows Marta schooling Neymar.
And here, a play on words. Morto means ‘dead’ in Portuguese.
Some fans were more direct: “We want a number 10 shirt with the name ‘Marta.'”