The Brazilian attacker, 26, was ridiculed for covering a huge distance with a roly-poly during the clash with Switzerland, as well as an over exaggeration of injuries during Brazil’s other clashes at the Fifa World Cup in Russia.
And KFC’s South African branch has made a brilliant advert off the back of the meme storm.
The ad, created by Ogilvy Cape Town and directed by Karien Cherry from Giant Films, is titled Keep Rolling and follows the journey of football player Herbz, who decides to take a dive and roll all the way through town to make a meal of it at KFC, with two pieces of chicken and chips.
The footballer goes down during a match and rolls straight down the tunnel as the confused stretcher bearers follow him. He then makes his way across town, forcing a skateboarder to jump over him and delighting some kids having a kickabout.
By the time the camera crew have caught up with him, the ace has a bag of KFC in his hand and viewers are given the catchy tagline “make a meal of it”.
The video has gone viral and has been shared by millions of football fans.
On Thursday, the advert was uploaded on 9gag’s Instagram account and got over 1 million views in just 30 minutes.
The commercial is a less than subtle jab at Neymar. The Brazilian has been criticised many times for his theatrics on the pitch as he often goes down at the slightest of touches in tackles.
He has subsequently become the talk of social media in recent times, with a #NeymarChallenge hashtag being invented in the process, as people mimicked the Paris Saint-Germain superstar’s diving antics.
But the creative team leads for the KFC advert, Sibulele Zihle and Steven Lipschitz, said the advert wasn’t directed at one player in particular.
“In soccer, we all know there are some players that truly make a meal of a challenge. Most of these players are really high profile, so we were counting on this happening,” Zihle said.
Lipschitz said that they had been surprised by the overwhelming response they had received to the advert.
“As we all know, soccer is a very popular sport and we wanted to tap into a universal truth in the game that everyone would understand and appreciate - even those that do not really watch it.
“So we knew that we had done our best to create an ad that could be appreciated by a lot of people, but we never anticipated a response quite at this scale.
“It is truly remarkable.”