Tottenham Hotspur winger Lucas Moura is at the centre of controversy this week after a series of tweets arguing in favour of Brazilian politician Jair Bolsonaro, a candidate in the country's upcoming presidential elections next month.
Bolsonaro, who is set to have major surgery after being stabbed during a campaign rally last week, has been dubbed by some a 'Brazilian Donald Trump'.
The whole Spurs fanbase loves Lucas Moura, a lovely footballer that helped us beat United! *5 seconds later* We regret to inform you he's endorsing a fascist— Jake. (@YedIin) September 10, 2018
He is seen as racist, homophobic and misogynistic, polarising Brazil. He has publicly backed infamously violent former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in the past and spoke in favour of 'starting a civil war' in Brazil back in 1999. He was also heavily fined for racist remarks last year.
But Lucas is in favour because the outspoken 63-year-old isn't towing the same line as the 'rest of the politicians', and appears to be taken by Bolsonaro's hard stance on fighting crime.
In one particular tweet, the former PSG winger suggested that restricted police powers have emboldened criminals in Brazil because the authorities are unable to combat the threat.
"I'm talking about police militarization. Bandits are not afraid of the police today, while they shoot and kill at will, the policeman cannot use his weapon. About gun possession I don't have a formal opinion yet," he said in response to one Twitter user.
BBC reported that Bolsonaro was second in the polls when he announced his intention to run in July, behind only former president Lula, who is currently serving a prison sentence for corruption.
New research suggests his recent stabbing could even improve Bolsonaro's chances of winning the first round of the October presidential election. Another poll, however, has found that his 'rejection rate' has actually increased from 39% to 43%.
On women - he told a Congresswoman he wouldn't rape her because she didn't deserve it, wasn't good enough. He said this several times, and called her ugly. Again, this is not a wild accusation - he was convicted in a court of law. https://t.co/TSQkSgC0Jj— Vincent Bevins (@Vinncent) September 10, 2018
On the pitch, Lucas has enjoyed a fine start to the 2018/19 season and was recognised for his excellent early form with the Premier League Player of the Month award for August.