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´I´m not going to change the way I play´ – Neymar

Barcelona star Neymar was forced to defend his playing style, after aggravating Athletic Bilbao players in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday.

Barca claimed their second trophy of the season, winning the final 3-1 – but not before the Brazil international drew the ire of Athletic players at Camp Nou.

Frustrations boiled over in the final minutes when Neymar produced an audacious flick over his head, with Athletic’s Unai Bustinza and Mikel San Jose among those on the field to rebuke the behaviour.

Ander Iturraspe and Xabier Etxeita were others to take up the issue with Neymar during the final.

Neymar, who scored Barca’s second goal to split Lionel Messi’s brace, said he will not change how he plays.

“It’s football, and in football these things happen. It’s incredible,” Neymar said.

“People can get angry but it’s my way of playing and I’ve been doing it for years. 

“I’m not going to change the way I play because it annoys other people.”

Neymar said he believed Luis Enrique’s men were fighting fit for their UEFA Champions League final date with Juventus on June 6.

“I’m very happy about everything we’ve achieved and I congratulate the team for the way we played,” the 23-year-old said. 

“We’re in good shape, physically. We were always on control of the match and we have to carry on the same way until the end [of our season].”

Neymar also offered praise for Messi, who again scored to deny Athletic in the cup final for the third time in seven years.

“Leo is amazing, he’s a star, for me he is the best player in the world and it’s an honour to be part of this team, with players of such high quality,” he said.

Sat 30 May, 2015
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