Saturday , July 20 2024

“Shut up, I earn ten times more than you

Neymar was at the centre of a post-match controversy after clashing with Antonio Barragan.

They were the scenes, one Valencia player would later reflect, that come when a sportsman “doesn’t know how to lose.”

That sportsman was Neymar, and his place at the centre of the unsavoury final-whistle fracas following Barcelona’s defeat to Valencia on Sunday night is becoming more clear with each passing day.

While Barca and the Brazilian breathed a collective sigh of relief when La Liga took no retrospective disciplinary action for some fairly robust verbal jousting and a flying bottle in the tunnel , Neymar’s central part in proceedings actually predates Barcelona’s dip in form and dates back to one of the evenings when they were at their unstoppable best.ark back to early February and a humbling evening for Gary Neville . 7-0 in the Nou Camp with four goals for Luis Suarez, three for Lionel Messi but also a show-stopping display from Neymar who was, at that stage, the most impressive player in La Liga this season and arguably the best player in the world in 2015 .

It was in this game, where Neymar made the Nou Camp gawp in amazement at some of his skills, that a Valencia player asked out of professional courtesy if he could stop trying to embarrass the ten-man visitors, who were already 3-0 down at half-time and out of the tie.

According to SuperDeporte, Neymar shrugged, smiled and reminded that Valencia player, Antonio Barragan, that he should “shut up… I earn ten times more than you.”

This, in case you were wondering, explains Barragan’s extra motivation (and physicality) against the Brazil skipper on Sunday night and why he was so pleased about shackling the Barca man.

On the other hand, Neymar wasn’t too pleased with a dose of his own medicine after a display in which he failed to dribble past Barragan even once, he lost possession numerous times and didn’t get a single one of his five shots on target.

That is what led to the unsavoury scenes at the whistle, when Neymar accosted Barragan from behind, whose response was “what’s wrong? So today you’re not full of dancing or insults?”

Inevitably a melée of indistinguishable arms and shouting followed, concluding with a “flying” bottle in the tunnel (in the words of Valencia’s Santi Mina) and Neymar sulking in the Barca changing room.There is no shortage of disappointment – but not necessarily surprise – in Valencia that Neymar has escaped punishment for his conduct at the end of the weekend’s game, but the lack of a ban will be more keenly felt in Madrid, where Atletico and Real are both looking for every edge in a title race that’s going to the wire.

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