Training ground bust ups between players are not new, and happen more often than we think. Normally we're not made aware of them. It's no surprise either: football provokes contact, friction, and irritation. But those sparks fly more readily under certain circumstances: when there is a prior antipathy between two players, when there is a general nervousness in the squad, or when a player is going through a personal crisis. This must be the case with Neymar. He cannot have anything against the new boy Semedo, who carefully moved away. There is no tension in the squad. It is Neymar who carries it within.
Neymar, one foot in Barça, on in PSG
His fury has been shared in pictures and he is not in a good place. This reflects something he has inside. This boy, normally so happy when he plays and who nonchalantly resists those that kick him in retaliation to his skills, went after Semedo after he had stepped away, was held by Busquets, and then left the session throwing away his bib and kicking whatever he could find. It suggests a boy under pressure, which is easy to believe because he awaits his immediate future being resolved. One foot in Barça, another in PSG, a club searching for the formula to get around 'financial fair play' and finalise the player's transfer. While this goes on, he trains with those he has decided to abandon. He is uneasy.
Madrid and Barça need the win
This incident comes on the eve of El Clásico in Miami, which takes place in the early hours of tomorrow morning for me. Will he play? He has played Barça's previous two games, and did so very well, especially against Juve. Barça come into this on the back of two wins, and Madrid with a draw (turned into a loss on penalties) and a heavy defeat. Both need to win. Barça is a vacuum of good news and with Neymar on the verge of leaving. Champions Madrid are having a very poor tournament. For them, it is advisable to call upon Sergio Ramos, without whom the defense, already missing Pepe, looks soft. In the background to this friendly sits the Spanish Super Cup on the 13th and 16th August.