On Saturday, Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, paving the way to a historic treble. Lionel Messi scored twice. Neymar scored once. The three goals, added together with those of Luis Suárez, combined to take the trio to 120 on the season, setting a Spanish record.
But never mind all that, because this happened:
Yes, that’s a bunch of Athletic Club players getting shovey with Neymar. You might think they’re just upset because their team is losing out on a chance to lift a trophy, but if you watched all the way through, you’ll know it’s because Neymar was disrespecting them.
Yep. Neymar’s flick was not considered “sporting,” and so the 23-year-old needed to be taught a lesson.
What’s worse, it seems Luis Enrique agrees:
If I was an Athletic player, for sure I would have reacted the same, or worse. In Brazil it is normal, it is difficult to explain to him, but we will try to control that, with time.
Neymar scored 22 goals in La Liga this season, added 11 more in the Spanish Cup and knocked in nine in the Champions League. 42 goals in 49 starts, compared to the 16 scored last season. The record-breaking 120 notched by MSN shows that Barcelona has the most lethal attacking trio in the world.
But Neymar is demonstrating a sense of individuality. He’s showing off. He’s exhibiting flair. He’s making the game exciting, interesting, enjoyable to watch. He’s disrespecting.
And that sort of thing must be beaten out of him before he can be a true Barcelona star.