The more avid viewers of hit Netflix show Money Heist will no doubt have already watched the third season of the Spanish production, which was released on the streaming platform on July 19.
If they did, they will have missed a cameo by soccer superstar Neymar, which was added into two of the episodes just a few days ago. The scenes with the Brazilian player, who has made it known that he is a big fan of La Casa de Papel, as the show is known in Spanish, were only inserted once the public prosecutor in São Paulo shelved a rape allegation filed against him by the Brazilian model Najila Trindade Mendes de Souza.
I was able to make my dream come true and be part of my favorite show!
In the version of the series that was released on July 19, there is no trace of the character played by Neymar, a Brazilian monk named João who speaks with protagonists Berlin and The Professor in episodes six and eight. It’s a brief appearance, during which the player delivers ironic lines in Spanish about how he doesn’t like soccer or partying.
The allegation filed by the model earlier this year meant that Neymar’s sponsorship contract with Mastercard was put on hold, and, as sources from Netflix have confirmed to EL PAÍS, the streaming giant cut the cameo from the final version of season three while it awaited news from the Brazilian justice system.
“I was able to make my dream come true and be part of my favorite show!” Neymar wrote on Twitter several days ago about Money Heist, which has become a phenomenon in his home country. “Now I can share João with all of you!” he added.
The rape allegation was shelved at the request of the gender violence public prosecutor in São Paulo, who found a “lack of evidence” for a rape case and “attachment between the two parties.” By then, millions of viewers the world over had seen the latest installment of the show, albeit without the presence of Neymar.
But the matter has not been closed entirely, and, like Money Heist, could still have a twist in store, given that the case could be reopened at any moment should new evidence appear.
Money Heist first debuted on Spanish television channel Antena 3 in 2017, but became a global phenomenon once it was picked up by Netflix. Since then, the heist drama, whose first season follows a group of thieves trying to steal billions of euros from Spain’s Royal Mint, has won critical acclaim as well as a number of high-profile fans. The latest celebrity to profess their admiration for the show was none other than Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft Corporation and one of the world’s biggest philanthropists. Speaking on the Awards Chatter podcast from the Hollywood Reporter ahead of the release of a Netflix documentary focusing on his life story, Inside Bill’s Brain, Gates told interviewer Scott Feinberg that he is “watching a ton of these TV series, and waiting for the next season: A Million Little Things, Sex Education, Money Heist, The Queen… This is a magical time period in terms of the number of great things on TV.”
English version by Simon Hunter.