Bilbao players attack Neymar after a skillful rainbow
Luis Enrique refused to defend Neymar in the post-match interview after Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final Saturday night.
The dying minutes of the game came with a few skillful surprises by both sides. Neymar looked to embarrass Bilbao players as Barca romped to victory in the showpiece occasion. The Brazilian picked of the ball on the left wing, and stopped for a trademark dance before doing a rainbow. The player was brought down however. The player were angered, and so were the Bilbao fans who sat right in front of the embarrassed, yet proud stand.
Barcelona were up 3-1 in the final stages of the game, and Luis Enrique believes that there was no reason to do that in front of the on looking fans.
The Bilbao players reacted badly to Neymar’s trick, and the commotion began on the field with pushing and shoving. Dani Alves came to Neymar’s defense as several others joined in soon.
Rather than defending Neymar, Enrique criticized Neymar for showboating againt Bilbao.
“If I were an Athletic player I would have reacted the same, or perhaps worse. In Spain it is badly looked upon, in Brazil there is another context, and it is more normal. But it’s easy to understand why they reacted as they did given that they were losing.”
Neymar didn’t have anything to say to the press, as he celebrated the cup with his teammates and shortly after exited the stadium without saying a word to the press outside of Barcel
Manager Louis van Gaal is highly interested in the Brazilian right back Dani Alves. The 32 year old has proved reliable over the years, and is a valued member of the Barcelona squad. Dani Alves has 1 month remaining on his contract, which will allow the defender to join United for free during the summer.
Alves said this week: “I may have two feet in the team but I’ve also got one foot, my body and nearly my head out of the club,” telling the media that he wishes to leave after being embarrassed by the contract negotiations.
The player has been given a contract with a significant pay-cut. Money is not a motivation for the right back, however, he believes that he should be paid fairly for his services to the club. After winning the La Liga, and being in two finals, Manchester United would want to sweep up the itchy feet defender as soon as possible.
Victor Valdes maybe one of the biggest motivations that Dani Alves may receive.
On Saturday, Barcelona will play Espanyol right around the corner from their home to play an exciting Catalan Derby. With Atletico and Barcelona so close, and Madrid breathing behind to leap onto any mistakes, Barcelona certainly can't give up on title hopes now.
Barcelona come from winning 4-3 at the Bernabeu, and beating Celta Vigo at home 3-0 to keep the momentum with them.
Martino needs to place his best line-up against Espanyol. It seems too soon to remember Guardiola's opener to a season with 2-0 loss to newly promoted Hercules, who are not back in segunda division. With that being said, lets take a look at the line up!
With Victor Valdez having played his last game for Barcelona, the defense now can't rely on Pinto to cover the back alone. Don't undermine the veteran, he is one of the best penalty savers in the world, but he is also old. Pinto will now be tested in the Champions League and in La Liga, plus he will surely play the final of Copa Del Rey with possibly hanging his boots if Barcelona don't need another keeper to back Stegen.
Dani Alves and Jordi Alba will be the regulars of the team since they provide and attack and a good defense on turnover.
The central defense is the biggest problem. Mascherano was responsible for conceding both of Benzema goals. Pique has been spending too much time with Shakira, and has gained considerable amount of weight. He lacks the same precision that made him the best in 2009. Marc Bartra has been the driving force of form for Barcelona. Even though he hasn't been trusted as much, Bartra has performed perfectly every single game he plays. Surely he will partner the fable Pique.
Is the easier position to define for Barcelona. Sergio Busquets, Xavi, and Iniesta will start the Spanish supremacy in possession.
When talking about the greats, why not add Lionel Messi in the mix. He just happens to be the greatest player in the world, and just comes back from scoring a magnificent hat trick against Madrid. Besides, when does Messi not play? Neymar also scored a brace in the game against Celta de Vigo and it seems Neymar feel more comfortable with the home fans than he does away. Naymar and Messi will partner Alexis Sanchez who seems to have caught Martino's sweet tooth. The Chilean has enjoyed great time on the field while Pedro and Tello have been bench warming most of the season.