Neymar: the new example of a modern day footballer

Juan Carlos Unzue, the current assistant manager at Barcelona, and favourite to replace the departing Luis Enrique, has been involved in a training ground bust-up, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The former ‘keeper, who was at the Catalan giants from 1988 to 1990 (although he barely played), is reported to have told Neymar to ‘focus more on his football.’

Unzue is Enrique’s most trusted advisor, and has already had run-ins with other Barca players this season, with Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Samuel Umtiti and Ivan Rakitic having previously taken issue with comments from the coach.

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Neymar’s form has come in for some criticism this season, with the Brazilian currently only having 10 goals and the same number of assists in La Liga – statistics that the much maligned Paco Alcacer would’ve been blasted for, had the striker started the 28 league games, Neymar had. Alcacer actually has six goals and two assists from just six La Liga starts, this campaign.

Although Juan Carlos Unzue is correct in his comments to the former Santos star, it’s a battle the one-time Sevilla goalie would do best in not stepping down from.

Football has changed drastically since the days of Unzue playing alongside Ronald Koeman and Michael Laudrup, with Johan Cruyff as manager – can’t imagine the great Dutch master putting up with Neymar’s off-the-field exploits from clothing lines to sponsoring anyone who will have him; especially given the 25-year-old’s lack of form.

Neymar, like Messi, like Paul Pogba, like Paulo Dybala, knows he holds all the cards when it comes to leverage with the club.

Footballers are now brand ‘drivers’ first, footballers second. Perhaps emojis third.


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