Michael Laudrup accuses Neymar of showboating against Leganes in 5-1 victory
The former Barcelona legend said there was no need to 'provoke' opponents even if Neymar's team were 4-0 up.
While Barcelona cruised to a 5-1 victory over La Liga new boys Leganes in Butarque, ex-Barcelona player Michael Laudrup accused Brazilian superstar Neymar of showboating against the opposition, when the Blaugrana were 4-0 up in the match and more or less assured of victory.
Laudrup, who played for Barcelona between 1989 and 1994 before a controversial move to arch rivals Real Madrid, was on commentary duty of the match. While Messi and Suarez were toying with the opposition, the Dane directed his attention to Neymar after the fourth goal who, according to him, was “provoking” the opposition.
Following Leganes’ Sastre fouling Neymar, Laudrup said, “Why are you taking the ball across your own half? You’re provoking the opposition. Pass the ball and move elsewhere! At 0-4 you can’t be showboating and provoking the opponent.”
The comments on air led to an immediate response from Barcelona fans across social media, who in turn accused Laudrup of “not making a single compliment” about the team and its dominant performance in the match.
If anything, Laudrup can certainly not be accused of bias towards his former club. He was a key cog in Johan Cruyff’s Barca ‘dream team’, but did not go on to endear Barca fans with his subsequent move to Real Madrid in 1994, where he won the league with the club and breaking Barcelona’s stranglehold on the trophy.
After the end of his playing career, Laudrup went into management, most famously managing Swansea City and leading them to their first trophy in over 100 years when they beat Bradford City 5-0 to win the League Cup at Wembley in 2013.
Not the first time Neymar has appeared to have been showboating
Neymar is known for a style of play where he incorporates individual skills and link up moves, which has made the Brazillian, the player he is today. His unpredictability is his biggest strength, but he seems to take it a bit too far at times.
During a match against Athletic Bilbao last year, where Barcelona were 3-1 up, Neymar received the ball near the corner flag in the last few minutes of the match and was immediately surrounded by two defenders.
He tried beating the first defender with a cheeky rainbow which was unsuccessful, but the Bilbao players and bench did not take kindly to it at all. They angrily surrounded the Brazilian. He then had to be taken away by club legend Xavi, who later deemed his actions to be ‘disrespectful’.
Neymar and his Barcelona teammates next play Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp on 21st September, followed by games against Sporting Gijon and Borussia Mönchengladbach, all in the space of 7 days.