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That Neymar, dancing on one leg...


Madrid's flirtation with Neymar is a recurrent theme in my conversations. An incredible player, an extravagant individual. The PSG boss travelled to Brazil, where he extracted promises of loyalty from the star's father, but it was only half convincing. The lad is still over there, happy and self-confident, to the point where yesterday he uploaded to Instagram a video of him dancing on one leg, which reminded some of that day when Cunningham, Madrid's ill-fated marvel, was caught in a disco just two days after having an operation on his big toe. Some players' bodies are driven by an unstoppable sense of joy which sits badly with football.

Neymar dances
Full screen
Neymar dances

Real Madrid want Neymar

Madrid want Neymar, which bothers Cristiano Ronaldo, who is scoring goals at an ever growing rate while he waits for Florentino to give him a hand (or a cheque) to help him out of his problems with the tax authorities. But Florentino has his eye on Neymar, he said it right after Cristiano won his fifth Ballon d'Or. Neymar is an outstanding player, the best after Cristiano and Messi, but he brings with him certain headaches. He travels with his bunch of mates, his 'Toiss' and everything they bring with them. His birthdays, his sister's birthdays, his photos in the buff in the snow, his frequent flightiness. Nothing like Mess's seriousness or the Herculean labours of Cristiano.

Relief for Barcelona when Neymar left

I don't see many people around me delighted at the prospect of Madrid signing Neymar. Madrid folk are wary. For Barcelona he was like a tapeworm: he got into their guts, he consumed their resources and prestige, and when he finally left it was a relief. Looking at it a few months later: Barça got 222 million euros which they invested, more or less, in Coutinho and Dembélé, with a lot expected from both, they're flying high in the Liga, finalists in the Copa del Rey and one of the favourites to win the Champions League. On the other hand, PSG haven't gone up a level since they signed him - instead they've got him in Brazil, dancing on one leg, far removed from from the crisis at the club.