Neymar Needs to be Taught a Lesson

If you watched the final round of group games at the 2015 Copa America this weekend, then you might have heard that CONMEBOL upped Brazil captain Neymar’s suspension from one game to four after its disciplinary board met on Friday to discuss the player’s punishment. 

As it turns out, in addition to the two yellow cards and one red card that the player received in two matches at the Copa, the disciplinary board also took into consideration Neymar’s post-game behavior, including abusive comments the player made toward referee Enrique Osses in the tunnel after the game, as well as in his post-game interviews. He also received a $10,000 fine.

As we’ve noted before, Neymar’s Friday sentencing by the disciplinary board capped a bizarre process that saw him go from a two-game ban to a one-game ban, and then back up to a whopping four-game ban that rules the 23-year-old out of the rest of this year’s Copa America (and possibly, the first few games of next year’s, depending on how Brazil does).

In another bizarre move, despite the assertion of Seleccao coach Dunga that the country’s soccer association (CBF) would protest the ban, it instead issued a statement on Monday claiming that both the player and the organization had accepted the four-game ban and fine, and that Neymar would now depart the team’s training camp for a holiday following the long season he’s had.

Neymar also took to social media, where he posted a long statement to fans on his Instagram page, saying cryptic things like,"‘Regardless of where I’ll be from now on, I’ll always follow Brazil, rooting for the success of my teammates." Maybe it’s the translation, but you could be forgiven for thinking that the player was referring to an early international retirement here. As it turns out, he was simply referring to an early vacation.

The Barcelona forward then goes on to justify his decision to leave the camp by saying: “staying here training is killing me inside… With no joy. It’s awful to train without preparing for something and this could lead to an accidental injury, which would make it even more difficult.” He adds that staying in the Selecao camp, “could bring a bad environment of “Concentration” issue that would take the focus away from the team’s main purpose -- as it obviously did the last time Brazil missed him in the World Cup semifinal.  Finally, Neymar apologizes to his colleagues “for putting myself in this situation but I’m sure this was an important learning curve in my career.”

And with that, Brazil’s most talented player f-ed off, embarking on a fabulous vacation somewhere that most of us could only dream of affording.

Good grief.

Off The Post doesn’t even know where to begin with this. Should we start with the tone? Certainly, the 23-year-old’s message sounded more defiant than contrite, which, for anyone who regularly follows the English Premier League knows is often a one-way ticket to more bans and fines.

But really, who does this kid think he is? And who is his publicist for allowing him to publicly post something so devoid of remorse? His ban, lest he forget, is the result of a series of insubordinations throughout the short duration of his Copa experience. And he only manages to apologize to his colleagues for, again bizarrely, “putting myself in this situation”. Huh? What does that mean exactly? He’s apologizing to himself?

In any event, what about apologizing to the people of Brazil—heck, how about the people of South America—for his deplorable conduct throughout this tournament? How about CONMEBOL? How about the organizers of the tournament? How about his fans at Barcelona? Oh, and how about referee Osses, who, regardless of his performance, was the most important authority figure in that stadium?

As far as OTP is concerned, it is critically important for young kids around the globe need to learn that the referee is someone to be respected, always, no matter how much you disagree with him, yet Neymar has gone and provided the world’s worst example of how to treat a referee, both during and after the game, and for that, Brazil coach Dunga and the CBF need to punish him further.

Unfortunately, It looks as though Neymar organized all of this with the CBF’s blessing, but let’s hope that the Barca star went rogue with that Instagram post. Let’s also hope that there are some real repercussions for his sustained petulant-ness when something doesn’t go his way. His behavior at the Copa America is no way for a professional player to act, let alone a captain. Dunga should take a long, hard look at this situation after the Copa America and possibly strip Neymar of the captaincy when he next calls him up for national team duty. If nothing else, that might finally teach him the lesson he has obviously not learned here.

19 comments about "Neymar Needs to be Taught a Lesson".
  1. John Mcdermott, June 22, 2015 at 7:57 p.m.

    Who also needs to be taught a lesson is Clint Dempsey. His behavior in the US Open Cup match against Portland was outrageous and unbecoming of US National Team player, or indeed any player of any age, let alone a highly-experienced, mature professional. His punishment was insufficient in relation to the offense and Jürgen Klinsmann should send him a message by not selecting him for a few games, possibly even dropping him for the Gold Cup.

  2. Daniel Ellis, June 22, 2015 at 8:09 p.m.

    (To the Author) Why are you so biased towards Neymar? In your last post about him you complained that the punishment of a 1 game ban was embarrassing and FIFA should punish CONMEBOL for only issuing a 1 game ban.

    Now that he is banned from the rest of the tournament for his actions (not even talking about the softness of his "headbut") you complain about dropping out of training and taking time to recover.

    You obviously do not like him, and it shows in your writing. Who can blame him for leaving training, he is paid millions of dollars a year to play soccer and he owes it to his fans to stay healthy so he can return full strength to wherever he plays next.

    Brazil fans are fine with him defending himself after getting pounded by fouls during the game. Barcelona fans are happy he is now recovering. The only apology he owes is to his teammates, those of which he apologized too.

    He even stated this was a learning experience for him which means it won't happen again. Start showing a lot more creativity in your writing and stop throwing out random biased statements.

  3. Capo fabre, June 22, 2015 at 8:40 p.m.

    Referees need to be held accountable. Some referees are idiots including the one that nearly cost Neymar his career and his life from a possible spinal injury. What's needs to happen is that a board oversee all refereeing and fine them when the call is obviously bad. I am tired of bad refereeing.

  4. Lou vulovich, June 22, 2015 at 8:47 p.m.

    Ross, you use the EPL as an example. You obviously know nothing about soccer and people like you despise individual brilliance. It is very sad that you have the opportunity to write anything in reference to soccer as it is quite obvious you know nothing about it.
    On second thought that is typical in US soccer as hardly anyone in any position knows anything about the game. I guess you are the perfect journalist for the average American soccer fan.

  5. Lucho Monge, June 22, 2015 at 8:47 p.m.

    @CapoFabre: and these Colombian players were the same ones that attacked Neymar at the World Cup.

  6. Paul Delbo, June 22, 2015 at 8:48 p.m.

    I agree with Daniel and John.
    Neymar got hacked the entire game..
    What you should do with all do respect is stop watching ESPN and go watch some internacional soccer News and websites and see other camera angles of how many times Neymar got hit and by how many players.. Including Zuniga who broke Neymars back (yeah we know by accident) in the last world cup..oh and on the yellow cards.. Really dude.. The first one for removing a ton of foam from in front of the ball so he could get a better foot visual and the second one for going to goal as he is falling and the ball making contact with
    his hand.. Really?? Is Neymar immature yes!! Did he snap? Yes.. and he will now pay the
    consequences.. But, had the ref called the game a bit thighter they would not have been able to hit him as much and the outcome may have been different.. Oh yeah.. What's Depsey's excuse?

  7. Lou vulovich, June 22, 2015 at 8:50 p.m.

    Neymar is one of only 5-6 players in the world worth watching, Great individual players are gone killed off by referees and coaches whom have the same mentality as this journalist.

  8. Jack DiGiorgio, June 22, 2015 at 8:54 p.m.

    eally don't think that the writer of this article is anymore bias as you Daniel Ellis and Capo Fabre. You have the guts to defend the deplorable actions of this "player" that has been sending the wrong message to HIS fans and to the soccer world! In two games he has done more damage than anyone else! In any other sports if you open your mouth you either receive a technical or you get ejected from the game; look at many times that players are allowed not to talk to the referee, but scream at him without receiving any cards or ejections. RESPECT, either you agree to the referee's call or not! Neymar has NONE! Oh by the way; he is an excellent diver....

  9. Soccer Madness, June 22, 2015 at 9:12 p.m.

    I agree with Lou and his comments are spot on. I am also tired of such vicious attacks by these journalists on one of the few true talents of the game left. It is common in USA to read these type of articles which makes it very clear of how hated skilled players like Neymar are in this country. It's a shame. Instead of applauding his risk taking and constant show of skill and flair and grace they make these long ass articles of how terrible he is. If they did both I would be OK with it. But no, they ignore his brilliance and go all out on his bad moments. Where is Dempsey's long ass article on his behavior? That's exactly the definition of bias, my friends. Funny how these some of these bloggers that agree with this article also mention how Neymar dives but don't say much about how he is viciously persecuted by mindless hits. We all can see what type of soccer you guys like to play and guess what? It sucks.

  10. Soccer Madness, June 22, 2015 at 9:25 p.m.

    3 articles on Neymar ban calling for hi head and one short one on Dempsey? Could the bias be any more clear? Is it just me or was Dempsey's actions much much more deplorable and disrespectful? How can these writers be so cutthroat in one situation and not even the same in another?

  11. Cristian Deseanu, June 22, 2015 at 9:55 p.m.

    Who this kid think he is?!? Are you serious?? Would you say the same thing about Lebron James when he says he's the best in the world? Neymar is not saying it! Not just yet! But he's showing us! Who he think he is?!? Is a kid that billions of people in this world are enjoying his talent! He's the player that us, the fans, can't have enough of him! And we only wish we can have more players like him. Why don't you write something about the referees, about how they're performing. Let "the kid" to play! To do what is doing best! And let us, the fans, to enjoy it!

  12. Joel Kraft, June 23, 2015 at 10:13 a.m.

    Your generalized attacks against "the American soccer fan" brilliantly display your own ignorance. Congratulations on looking like fools.

  13. William Anderson, June 23, 2015 at 10:19 a.m.

    Neymar is extremely talented and extremely immature. He will learn his lessons either on the field or off of it. If he continues to disrespect his opponents, he will only invite more and greater scrutiny. I don't feel sorry for him, but I do question those who are "handling" him. What are Barcelona doing to mentor him? It looks as if Brazil may have sent him packing, and if so, good for them.

  14. Kily Gonzalez, June 23, 2015 at 4:10 p.m.

    It is indeed very difficult for the light footed, skilled ball virtuosos to keep their tempers totally under complete wraps from game to game, week to week while enduring the shoves, elbows, verbal junk, clips to ankles and knees. Almost by definition they are not the hunking 6 foot or taller 200 pound beefalos who can take the physical abuses. Yes, by definition they are lighter and more fragile. Otherwise they would not be so swift and agile with near superhuman reflexes. The opponents who target these players know this. They know a moment when the ball skilled player will snap is always right around the corner and they prey upon this. Why is this not so obvious to match officials? Simultaneously, sides like Brasils and FC Barcas need to have expert trainers in how to mentally coach the Neymars through what will accompany him throughout his active playing days.

  15. Kily Gonzalez, June 23, 2015 at 4:24 p.m.

    I also ask this: Who thinks a guy like Neymar who has just had the season that laid to rest any doubters in Spain or Europe as to his true worth (with Neymar winning his first three big trophies with Barca - while Barca went out for zero titles in Neymar's first season with them), who thinks a Neymar can just, within one week, mentally switch off the focus, pressures, strain, physical challenges, strategy challenges, different coaching (first year with Luis Enrique after Martino last year at Barca) and just seamlessly waltz into a typically physically pounding Copa America in a completely different time zone and climate? Doesn't the modern top world footballer's mind and body need at least a 3 week break before taking on the next big sport hurdles? I think so. No one seems to laser in on the utter nonsense of thinking one will see both MENTALLY and physically absolute fit players who now play nearly all 52 weeks per year, year after year. Too much is placed on Neymar's shoulders. Big Phil made the same mistake when he was at the helm of the Selecao. Not just Neymar by any means. These guys have done nothing but non stop top world class club and country play -- without stop -- now for over three years. (Remember the FIFA Confed Cup of year 2013? Followed by the biggest tournament of all last summer.) There is no end in sight: Next year the Copa America Centario. And then quite possibly the Russia hosted FIFA Confed Cup.... Thus the mental lapses and emotional outbursts are inevitable in those who are not even yet 26 or 27 years old. Clint Dempsey just proved to us that a player under far, far less pressure or microscope than a Neymar or Luis Suarez (and a lot older than a Neymar) goes full-idiotic. So, right now, given these factors, I'd go a little forgiving on a Neymar. He carries way too much weight for a nation on his slender frame. Yes, he has a net worth of over 85 million at least. But that does not make him impervious to the flaws we all have as humans.

  16. Lou vulovich, June 23, 2015 at 7:23 p.m.

    I would recommend to any young skilled player
    like Meymar, who is constantly getting physically
    abused and not protected by referees, to take a
    different approach. Don't head butt, don't punch or bite and certainly don't spit on anyone. What
    you do is every 5-10 games you play, tackle someone in a manner which could cause serious
    injury, get up with your hands raised in a manner
    as though it was a complete accident , that you just broke your opponents leg, gesture that you were going for the ball. Try to help the injured player and pat the referee on the back as he give you a warning or a yellow card. The TV commentators and journalist will love you and generally forgive you, no matter how many
    players you injure. Of course you just have to
    look like you did not mean to do it. Today rules
    are for each referee to interpret as he wishes.

  17. William Anderson, June 24, 2015 at 8:20 p.m.

    After reading all of these comments I now understand why Messi has attacked other players and assaulted match officials. It is all so clear now. (sarcasm font on)

  18. Lou vulovich, June 24, 2015 at 10:13 p.m.

    Messi has himself under control better then most great players. He also is never tackled in a manner other great players have been. Seldom does anyone attempt to injure Messi. If you are
    familiar with international soccer you would understand. Some players are always more protected than others. The point is the game should be called by the rules not the referees discretion.

  19. Soccer Madness, June 25, 2015 at 11:19 a.m.

    Lou, right on. I completely agree. In USA this is a debate only because many here hate guys bthat can dribble and create. Why? because they will either never play this way nor teach it. Therefore, never encourage it. Next best thing they can identify are the guys that hit.

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