After Neymar and Gary Medel exchanged heated words regarding the alleged stamping incident in the Brazil-Chile friendly last week, the former’s Barcelona teammate Claudio Bravo asked both players to “act like adults” and stop the argument.
“These things should be left on the field because we’re adults,” Bravo, who also acts as the captain of the Chilean national squad, said. “I have spoken with both of them and it has to stay on the field. There is no need to start controversies.”
The verbal tussle between the two players began during the friendly game between Neymar’s Brazil and Medel’s Chile last Saturday. During the first half of the match, Medel tackled the Barcelona forward coming from a free kick, with Neymar seen writhing in pain afterwards. Video footage showed Medel’s foot hitting the former’s leg, but the latter was not given the red card.
Neymar publicly denounced Medel for the incident, referring to his actions being akin to that of the UFC mixed martial arts tournament than football. However, Medel countered in his Twitter account, accusing the Braqzilian star of just being “theatrical” and insisting that such a play is part of the game.
Bravo said that after the incident broke out on public, he went to both parties and talked to them, asking them to just on and forget the altercation.
The 31-year old goalkeeper also went on to talk about the status of Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi. “He looked good to me,” Bravo relayed. “He ran a little and worked out on the side because of the trip. The team’s fine and eager for Sunday’s game. We always hope everyone is healthy. It’s more about the group rather than individuals.” Messi was sidelined during Argentina’s two friendly matches due to a yet unidentified injury.
Bravo added that he expects Barcelona to face a tough opponent in Celta, who they will face on Sunday. “We know that every game we play in the league can affect the standings and this Sunday we have a difficult opponent,” he said. “The fact that they won at Camp Nou makes us look at it from another point of view. We have to be vigilant against Celta, but above all we must rely on our own play.”