Luis Enrique warns Athletic Bilbao fans not to retaliate Neymar Copa del Rey final’s over the head flick

Every big side has more than one star player and one big disadvantage, apart from being on the top for having such a great lineup of players, is that your key players are often on the hit list of opponents which sometime becomes fatal for them as fans or opponent players can target them. We have seen this happened to many players in big tourneys – remember Neymar injury in the last world cup? Anyways, Barcelona is one such side who is having an army of top players and Neymar is of course one of them hence whenever we have a controversy surrounding this Brazilian, his safety becomes the bigger issue for Barca management. If we correctly remember, Neymar’s flick over Unai Bustinza’s head got lots of criticism during 2014-15 Copa del Rey final and even Athletic Bilbao fans reacted angrily but could do nothing that time. Now, when both the sides would be up against each other this Sunday again, it is expected fans would retaliate over the last season incident so Barca has warned any such act would not be tolerated when San Mamés side will visit Camp Nou this weekend.

However, showing his confidence to take revenge of the loss Barca conceived at the start of the 2015 season in Super Cup, manager Luis Enrique said, “I’m going to give advice that he should continue enjoying football. He’s not doing anything offensive, it’s his way of playing and people can no longer use being chipped or getting nutmegged by Ney as an excuse.

“There’s no disrespect. If there’s an opponent who doesn’t understand that then there’s a referee who can send him off. Athletic were the team who prevented us from being able to get the ‘sextet’ last year, so we already have a motivation,” the Barca boss said at his pre-match news conference on Saturday.

“I’m expecting the same as always. Zero rest, zero concession and a lot of intensity. It’s a difficult game for both teams. The players already know what type of game it’s going to be. (Ernesto Valverde) has a footballing idea similar to ours, which I like a lot. He’s shown a great level both here and abroad. He’s passionate coach who loves good football. I’m braced for anything, he’s faithful to a style of play but, for example, in the Super Cup he surprised us with individual marking. It’s a challenge.”

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