Barcelona's Neymar hits back after showboating storm vs. Athletic Bilbao
Barcelona striker Neymar has insisted he will "not change" his style after being embroiled in angry scenes against Athletic Bilbao over showboating.
With Barca 3-1 up in the latter stages of the Copa Del Rey final at the Camp Nou on Saturday night, Neymar -- who in the first half had scored his team's second goal -- attempted to flick the ball over the head of Unai Bustinza by the corner flag before going down theatrically looking for a free kick.
The Athletic players were incensed by a move they considered disrespectful, and the Brazil international was confronted by several opposition players. Gerard Pique had to step in as peace-maker.
"Perhaps Neymar did not have to give such a spectacle," Pique said after the game.
However, Neymar said he had just been playing the way he always has, and has no intention of changing.
"This is football, in football these things happen," Neymar said. "It is incredible. They can get angry, but that is my style of play, and I have been playing like that for many years. I will not change my style of play due to what other players think."
Athletic Bilbao captain Andoni Iraola slammed Neymar after the match. He said: "I didn't find [Neymar's flick] elegant or sporting. He has experienced players in his team who still have a lot to teach him."
Barca coach Luis Enrique said he understands why Athletic reacted the way they did.
"I do, yes," he said. "If I was an Athletic player, for sure I would have reacted the same, or worse. In Brazil it is normal, it is difficult to explain to him, but we will try to control that, with time."