Soccer star Neymar promises to visit Israel after PM’s invite
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Soccer star Neymar promises to visit Israel after PM’s invite

Surfing world champion Gabriel Medina also responds that he will come, after Netanyahu and Bolsonaro record video message to them at Western Wall

Brazilian soccer star Neymar plays with a ball during his official presentation at Paris' Parc des Princes stadium on August 4, 2017. (AFP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure)
Brazilian soccer star Neymar plays with a ball during his official presentation at Paris' Parc des Princes stadium on August 4, 2017. (AFP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure)

Brazilian soccer star Neymar has promised to visit Israel after being invited by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Netanyahu and Bolsonaro invited Neymar and two-time surfing world champion Gabriel Medina to visit the Holy Land in a video message recorded from the Western Wall on Monday.

The world’s most expensive soccer player responded to the two leaders a day later with his own video message.

“Hello Bibi and Bolsonaro. Thanks for inviting us. Israel, we are coming,” Neymar said.

Medina, one of Neymar’s closest friends, also said he would visit.

Bolsonaro, who was sworn in as Brazil’s president on January 1, arrived for a three-day trip to Israel on Sunday. He has expressed his strong support for Israel and spoken of being moved by a Christian pilgrimage he made to the Jordan River several years ago.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu touch the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 1, 2019. (Menahem Kahana/Pool/AFP)

He had also pledged to follow in US President Donald Trump’s footsteps and move Brazil’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem, but that is on hold for now out of concern the move would provoke retaliation from Brazil’s Arab trading partners.

Instead, he announced Brazil would open a trade office in the capital.

On Monday, Bolsonaro visited the Western Wall alongside Netanyahu, becoming the first head of state to do so with an Israeli premier.

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