Neymar needs to change his attitude according to Athletic Bilbao's Aduriz
Despite some rough treatment from Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona star Neymar called the refereeing "normal" and was not critical of referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez following his team's 2-1 Copa del Rey quarterfinal first leg win.
However, Athletic's Aritz Aduriz was critical of the Barcelona striker for his style of play and suggested he should change his approach to the game.
Munir El Haddadi and Neymar provided the scoring for Luis Enrique's team, but the Brazilian was subjected to some rough play from Athletic, particularly at the hands of goalscorer Aduriz.
Neymar, who was also accused of poor sportsmanship in the teams' Copa del Rey finals clash last season, flicked the ball over Aduriz's head in the second half. Aduriz then chased Neymar down, fouled him and appeared to drag his foot across the Brazilian's back.
Aduriz said he apologized to Neymar for "touching him a little," but said he did take issue with the Brazilian's style of play and wished he'd change his ways somewhat.
"Neymar is a global star but at times I wish he had a different attitude," Aduriz told Movistar +. "I did not go with intent to harm Neymar. These are things that remain on the pitch."
For his part, the 23-year-old wouldn't fault the referee for what transpired on the pitch.
"When the match ends, everything is left on the pitch. At times they played hard and at others they did not," Neymar said.
"The referee is there to see it. I think the refereeing has been normal."
The late goal from Aduriz, who scored in the 89th minute, puts Barcelona in a slightly-less comfortable position ahead of a Jan. 27 return leg at the Camp Nou
"That goal may complicate the tie, but we had a great game and now we have to win the return leg," Neymar said.
"But the goal is dangerous because they are a good team with players who can be decisive. We must be vigilant."