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Nelson Semedo: I knew Neymar was in a 'difficult moment' after Barca fight

Steve Nicol argues that Chelsea have a great opportunity against a Barcelona side reliant on Lionel Messi and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Craig Burley says Barcelona will have just enough to get past his former side, Chelsea, in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Craig Burley says Barcelona will have just enough to get past his former side, Chelsea, in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Barcelona's Nelson Semedo says he understood Neymar was going through a "difficult moment" when the two clashed in preseason, but adds he was annoyed by the incident at the time.

Semedo, 24, had just joined Barca from Benfica when he came to blows with Neymar during a training session on the club's tour of the United States.

Neymar reacted angrily to a challenge from Semedo as Barca prepared for an International Champions Cup match against Real Madrid in Miami, with the forward having to be held back by Sergio Busquets as he attempted to confront the defender in front of TV cameras.

"It didn't set me back, it was a normal situation in training," Semedo told Maisfutebol. "The repercussions went way beyond a normal level. Personally, it didn't affect me because I had the support of the team and my friends, but it obviously influenced me."

Semedo says he sympathised with Neymar at the time, with the Brazil international under intense media scrutiny regarding his proposed move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Nelson Semedo and Neymar clashed in preseason.

"I had just arrived and one of the most important players on the team got in a fight with me," Semedo added. "It annoyed me at the time but I also understood he was going through a difficult moment and he wanted to leave -- although I had no idea he would actually go.

"The rest of the dressing room expected it. I didn't imagine at that time that he would leave for PSG. It surprised me, like the rest of the fans who were shocked."

Semedo's start to life at the Camp Nou has been up and down, with the right-back finding himself out of the team in recent weeks, replaced by Sergi Roberto.

In total, he has made 17 appearances for Barca, including five starts in the Champions League.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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