En­rique, Sime­one de­fend “spec­tac­u­lar” Ney­mar

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

BARCELONA coach Luis En­rique and Atletico Madrid man­ager Diego Sime­one have launched im­pas­sioned de­fences of Ney­mar (car­i­ca­ture) after the Brazil­ian’s show­boat­ing again came un­der the spot­light.

For­mer Barcelona great Michael Lau­drup lam­basted the Brazil in­ter­na­tional for “pro­vok­ing” the op­po­si­tion in Satur­day’s 5-1 win at Le­ganes and Ney­mar’s flam­boy­ant style would be scru­ti­nised again overnight when Barcelona hosted Atletico.

Com­men­tat­ing on Satur­day’s game at Le­ganes for BeIN sports, Lau­drup said he un­der­stood why Lluis Sas­tre kicked out at Ney­mar dur­ing the game.

“Why are you tak­ing the ball across your own half? You’re pro­vok­ing the op­po­si­tion. When it’s 4-0 you can’t be show­boat­ing and pro­vok­ing your op­po­nents,” Lau­drup said.

Ney­mar’s pen­chant for try­ing to em­bar­rass op­po­nents with flicks and tricks has prompted crit­i­cism in Spain be­fore, with Luis En­rique once declar­ing he sym­pa­thised with Ath­letic Bil­bao play­ers for foul­ing Ney­mar in the 2015 King’s Cup fi­nal.

The coach, how­ever, took his player’s side when ques­tioned about Lau­drup’s com­ments.

“He has his own style and I think it’s spec­tac­u­lar for foot­ball. We en­joy his play a lot at Barca,” Luis En­rique told a news con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

“We know what world we live in and what peo­ple fo­cus on, but I like his con­cept of foot­ball, and no-one in La Liga can be sur­prised by it now.

“Per­haps it’s bet­ter to crit­i­cise things that are against the rules, as there is noth­ing say­ing you can­not do spec­tac­u­lar tricks.”

Atletico coach Sime­one also de­fended Ney­mar when asked if he would be both­ered if Ney­mar at­tempted sim­i­lar tricks against his side. “He has a par­tic­u­lar style of play, like ev­ery­one else, but I love it,” Sime­one said yes­ter­day.

“He has been crit­i­cised and they have ex­posed his pri­vate life. He has fun, he sings he dances and he de­stroys op­po­nents. They can keep crit­i­cis­ing him. He needs to re­spond on the pitch.”

Sime­one added: “He’s ex­tra­or­di­nary. He went to the Olympics and won gold, he has found his place at Barcelona to show­case his tal­ent, he has just come back from hol­i­days and he’s still play­ing just as well. “He has a per­son­al­ity that al­lows him to do all that, and I love watch­ing him.” – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.