If you don’t know it already, Barcelona superstar Neymar fought his new teammate Nélson Semedo and walked off the pitch during a training session in Miami on Thursday afternoon. There’s even video footage to prove it:
Nelson Semedo fighting with Neymar in training. Neymar then walks out of the training..— Leo Messi (@messi10stats) July 28, 2017
So, how big of a deal is this? I’m not and have never a professional football player, but every professional player I’ve talked to over the years has told me fights in training happen all the time. With the increased intensity of these sessions, players want to prove themselves and sometimes exaggerate on a certain challenge, and some players simply overreact to a simple challenge and it blows out of proportion.
This is absolutely normal, and we can be sure there were fights in training during the Pep Guardiola Era, the Luis Enrique Era, any Barça Era you think about. It’s what happens. This fight, however, is looked at differently for a simple reason: it’s just horrible timing.
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last two weeks, you know about the huge speculation of Neymar leaving Barcelona and joining Paris Saint-Germain this summer. We don’t know what will happen, but this just adds fuel to the fire. Had this exact same fight between Semedo and Neymar happened during the first week of training in Barcelona, where all training sessions are closed and nobody can film it, it wouldn’t be a big deal.
But the current climate hurts this fight. It was not supposed to happen now, and the fact we don’t know about Neymar’s decision makes it even worse. We should just forget about this and move on, but the timing of this makes it impossible.