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Neymar’s Religion Helps Ease Burden Amid Concern of Divisiveness

Pastor Newton Lobato Filho was delivering his Sunday sermon on a steamy night in Sao Vicente, Brazil, when he stopped suddenly and asked a skinny 14-year-old boy to stand up.

In front of about 600 faithful, he told the boy that God had spoken to him and revealed that the teenager would become one of the finest soccer players in the world. That’s how the pastor’s son, Newton Lobato Netto, recalls that moment eight years ago in the working-class town about an hour’s drive from Sao Paulo.