Tottenham winger Lucas Moura has defended himself after he was criticised for appearing to support a far-right presidential candidate in his native Brazil.
Jair Bolsanaro, who stands for the Social Liberal Party, is leading the polls in Brazil despite holding racist, homophobic and misogynistic views. The 63-year-old was recently hospitalised after being stabbed at a political rally.
Journalists and analysts writing about Brazil's election - don't try to save yourself from doing work or exercising judgment by saying Bolsonaro "has been accused of" homophobic, racist or violent comments and supporting dictators. Please just check what he actually said.— Vincent Bevins (@Vinncent) September 9, 2018
Moura backed Bolsanaro for his hard line stance on tackling crime in Brazil, but he received a backlash on social media for supporting such a controversial candidate.
"Unfortunately, I already imagined that it would have an exaggerated repercussion, with more attention than it should on the part of the media, I just wanted to position myself," said Moura after Saturday's Premier League defeat to Liverpool, quoted by UOL Esporte.
"Before being a soccer player, I am a citizen and have the right to worry about what is happening in the my country.
"I just responded civilly to some of the issues that appeared on my Twitter, but unfortunately some people do not know how to respect a different opinion, knowing how to live with different opinions is part of democracy.
"I love my family and my friends of passion, but I do not always agree with them."
Moura has made a good start to the season with Spurs despite the controversy, and was named Premier League player of the month for August.