Everton forward Richarlison says he got 10,000 WhatsApp messages in five minutes after PSG star Neymar gaffed by showing the forward’s number to the world during a live-streamed online video game.
The Toffees player, in the news over his red card for his horror lunge on Liverpool midfielder Thiago, threatened to block fans who messaged him after his fellow Brazilian told him about his blunder.
But the warning, which left Richarlison at risk of a torrent of abuse for the Thiago foul, failed to work and his phone went red-hot during their game of Counter-Strike on streaming platform Twitch on Sunday.
Neymar filmed himself holding his mobile up to the screen with Richarlison’s name and his number showing below it as he called him.
He confessed his “mistake” seconds later as the Everton player picked up although he began their conversation by mentioning Carlison’s red card tackle and asking him: “What happened yesterday? That was a real flying tackle.”
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He could be seen laughing as he told his friend: “I think I’ve just shown your number without meaning to.
“I swear it was an accident.”
Getting the Everton forward to say ‘hello’ to fans as his number started to go viral, he added: “We’re online. Give a wave.
“You’re going to have to change your number now.”
Richarlison responded: “Hey guys, whoever calls me is going to be blocked, don’t call me.”
But the warning failed to work, with the footballer taking to Twitter shortly afterwards to brand the PSG forward a “genius” and reveal: “In five minutes I’ve already had 10,000 messages. Thanks Neymar.”
The gaffe occurred a day after Richarlison was sent off for his heavy challenge on Thiago.
He later issued a public apology, claiming his “over-dedication” led to the late lunge in Saturday’s Merseyside derby and he had no intenting of hurting the former Bayern Munich player.
He added: “Unfortunately there is nothing I can do to change what happened, other than to reflect, work and move on.”
It later emerged Merseyside Police had launched an investigation into an alleged series of offensive tweets aimed at Richarlison and Everton goalie Jordan Pickford who escaped a red card despite a penalty-area lunge on Virgil van Dijk.
It was not immediately clear if Neymar's gaffe had led to his fellow Brazilian getting any hate messages.
Richarlison is due to miss Everton’s next three games against Southampton, Newcastle and Man United following his red card.