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Neymar: the culé puppet show and the white bluff

The transfer curtain fell on the second day of September, and our suspicions were confirmed: 'operation Neymar' had been pure posturing. Barça, and I speak of the club, didn't have enough money or desire to sign him, but moans from Messi to bring him back obliged the long drawn out show. Interest had been feigned, the media had been tipped off about the comings and goings in order to convey the appearance of enthusiasm, but it was all theatre. Neymar wanted to leave PSG. PSG could certainly do without the Brazilian. Those statements are true. But it is not so easy to convince someone to pay a huge sum for a fickle player who has not been a footballer for two years.

Florentino's sycophants maintain image

And Florentino's play was a bluff. When he began at Madrid, he made his stance like a bold bull fighter: Figo from Barça, Zidane from Juve, Ronaldo from Inter and Beckham from Manchester United. It produced such an impact that it is still believed he is capable of bringing in any player he wishes with a click of his fingers. But he isn't. Cristiano, Madrid's last true galáctico, had already been signed by Calderón. Kaká was taken from a crippled Milan. Then came his failure to deliver Neymar first time around. But the memory of those distant achievements (now 15 years ago!) and the group of sychophants he has surrounded himself with allows him to keep the image that he is still capable of anything. The truth, however...

The much-spotted Neymar.

The much-spotted Neymar.

Good luck to him, peace for us

In any case, I'm glad that Neymar is staying with PSG, the club that paid for this mortgage and there is little reason to free them from it. At the end of this season the player will have a fixed price, 170 million, and if by then he has shown real signs of being interested in football again, there could be a renewed focus in him. I am sure that the subject will be visited again, possibly as soon as January. Until then, we can take for granted the news that Piqué, an apostle of modern journalism, solemnly announced two years ago: "Se queda" (He is staying). His statement was not false, just premature. He is staying, yes, and he is staying for two years... and in Paris. I hope he enjoys success while we can now enjoy the peace.