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Neymar shrugs off criticism

Neymar says that criticism does not bother him as he knows opinions among pundits can swing wildly in football.

Neymar helped himself to a brace against Celta Vigo.
Neymar is unconcerned by criticism of his performances.

• Ledwith: Barca win tarnished

The Brazil star was heavily criticised for his performance in Sunday’s 4-3 win at Real Madrid, with many Catalan pundits and fans arguing he was only in the team due to his media profile and 86 million euro price tag, and that home-grown Pedro Rodriguez should have started instead.

Blaugrana coach Gerardo Martino ignored these calls and started Neymar again in Wednesday’s home game against Celta Vigo, and the former Santos attacker scored twice in a 3-0 win which sent his side second in the Primera Division standings.

He subsequently told the Barca website that he was happy with the goals, and had not been overly concerned with the comments coming from outside the camp.

“I’m happy that I scored, and I’m especially calm,” Neymar said. “It doesn’t matter if I’m criticised or praised. In football one day you’re the best player and the next you’re the worst.”

Those goals were just Neymar’s second and third of what has been an eventful 2014, which has seen him miss a month through injury, and also a court investigation into his transfer from Santos last summer bring about the resignation of Sandro Rosell as Barcelona president.

The 22-year-old said he was just focused on playing football and helping his team.

“Players need to have a clear head,” Neymar said. “They need to be focused and that’s what I’m doing. The only thing I want to do is help my team.”

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