- Neymar’s previous penalty routine forced FIFA to change the rules on previous ones
- The Brazilian feinted just before hitting the ball to gain an advantage
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It seems like a lifetime since a young Brazilian star named Neymar burst onto the scene at Santos before going on to star for Barcelona, PSG and now Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia.
Now 32 years old and seemingly in the final years of his career, fans of the South American remember how he once made FIFA change their rules on penalties because of how effective his technique was.
Neymar scored 73 goals in 142 appearances for Santos before landing a dream transfer to Barcelona for an initial £49m in 2013.
Now a video has gone viral showing the superstar scoring penalties in his formerly unusual style during his breakthrough years at Santos that he was eventually forced to stop doing.
The Brazilian icon scored 11 of the 14 penalties he took for Santos, and at least five of them were converted using Neymar’s unusual forehand.
Neymar burst onto the scene as a youngster at Brazilian club Santos before joining Barcelona.
The penalty technique used by Neymar at the beginning of his career was eventually banned by FIFA
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Often taking the ball and leaving it in place, Neymar would get close to his shot before stopping just in front of the ball, waiting for the goalkeeper to dive and then launching his shot into the opposite corner.
Opposing goaltenders believe the action gave the shooter an unfair advantage because it delayed his reaction time when attempting to make a save.
Neymar would stop just before hitting the ball to force the goalkeeper to dive early
His action contributed to FIFA imposing a ban 14 years ago that prevented players from using the feint style in the professional game.
Soccer’s world body called Neymar’s old penalty technique “unsportsmanlike” and changed the law so players cannot stop running before hitting the ball.
A document published by FIFA at the time of the ruling said: “Feinting to kick the ball after the player has completed his run is considered a breach of Law 14 and an act of unsportsmanlike conduct for which the player must be reprimanded.”
The change meant that players had to move forward at all times when running to take a penalty, and the previous feint was often changed to a short jump.