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Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino excuses Neymar celebration

Neymar wheels off to celebrate his goal with Dani Alves
Action Images

Brazilian star Neymar has been on the receiving end of some heft criticism for his flamboyant goal celebration in his team’s La Liga victory over Rayo Vallecano on the weekend.

The Brazilian forward scored with a stunning 20-yard strike in the 89th minute to complete the scoring in Barca’s 6-0 rout. He then ran towards the corner flag where he performed a dance routine with compatriot Dani Alves.

The routine involved a motion considered to signify slapping somebody across the buttocks and thus led pundits across various publications including ABC and Marca to question Neymar’s celebrations.

Polls were even set up asking whether the 21-year-old had gone too far and was disrespecting their beaten opponents.

Neymar’s coach, Gerardo Martino, has defended the player’s actions, insisting that the 22-year-old was merely expressing his emotions after an injury lay-off and the on-going transfer saga regarding his move to Spain.

“With the celebration of the goal we should not forget the context. And all the player has suffered - with his injury and other matters which are not strictly to do with football. He was not disrespecting the opponents, it was more a relief after all the difficult situations he has been through recently.”

The player himself used his personal Instagram account to clarify his celebration, posting a photo of the dance as well as an explanation.

“We were enjoying ourselves. Whether it is playing, living or doing whatever. We are like that, just happy to be living such unforgettable moments. Our motto is audacity and happiness.”


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