BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona and Brazil forward Neymar has said he will continue to show off his skills on the pitch even if his showboating upsets opponents.
The forward had to be substituted during Brazil’s 5-0 win over Bolivia last week after being elbowed in the face by Yasmani Duk having attempted to pass the ball through the striker’s legs.
Despite being left with a bloodied face, and Duk saying after the game that Neymar had to learn how to “respect his opponents”, the Brazilian remains unapologetic for his style of play.
“I’m definitely not going to change, players have to know that when they face me that I have my own way of playing and that is dribbling, scoring goals and helping my team mates,” Neymar said on Thursday.
“I’m happy playing that way and if they don’t like it there’s nothing I can do.”
Neymar’s ostentatious playing style has also come under scrutiny at club level.
The Barcelona forward upset Leganes player Lluis Sastre, who kicked out at the Brazilian for showboating during the Catalans’ 5-1 victory last month.
“They can kick me and elbow me, but not every player in the world can dribble, that is getting harder and harder to do,” Neymar added.
Barca are set to welcome back talisman Lionel Messi from injury on Saturday against Deportivo La Coruna, meaning a reunion for the lethal ‘MSN’ attacking trident that also features Neymar and Luis Suarez.
The trio scored a record 131 goals in all competitions last season but have had limited opportunities this campaign, with injuries and rotations meaning they have started just three games together.
“We know that we are making history and that together we are all stronger,” Neymar said.
“The magic of the trident is in the friendship we have on and off the pitch. We always help each other out.”
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis