Featured Matches
Previous
Manchester City
Liverpool
0
0
LIVE 48'
Game Details
Vitesse Arnhem
Chelsea
1
3
FT
Game Details
AEL
Zenit St Petersburg
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
FC Copenhagen
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Grasshoppers
Lille
0
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Besiktas
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Celtic
4
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Aktobe Lento
Steaua Bucuresti
2
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Qarabag
SV Salzburg
2
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
AEL
Zenit St Petersburg
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
FC Copenhagen
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Apoel Nicosia
2
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Grasshoppers
Lille
0
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Besiktas
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Partizan Belgrade
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Standard Liege
Panathinaikos
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
AaB
Dinamo Zagreb
0
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
NK Maribor
Maccabi Tel-Aviv
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Celtic
4
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Vitesse Arnhem
Chelsea
1
3
FT
Game Details
Chesterfield
Aston Villa
3
1
FT
Game Details
Hartlepool United
Middlesbrough
0
2
FT
Game Details
Walsall
Leicester City
2
3
FT
Game Details
York City
Nottingham Forest
1
2
FT
Game Details
Bury
Blackburn Rovers
1
1
FT
Game Details
Chester City
Tranmere Rovers
1
1
FT
Game Details
Peterborough United
Charlton Athletic
0
0
FT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Yeovil Town
1
2
FT
Game Details
Port Vale
Bolton Wanderers
1
2
FT
Game Details
Sheffield Wednesday
Newcastle United
0
1
FT
Game Details
Southend United
Queens Park Rangers
0
0
FT
Game Details
St Neots Town
Luton XI
0
0
FT
Game Details
DC United
Toronto FC
1
0
LIVE 55'
Game Details
New England
Colorado
1
0
LIVE 40'
Game Details
Chicago
Vancouver Whitecaps
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls
ESPN2 1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Bolívar
San Lorenzo
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 5
Game Details
At. San Luis
Santos
1
0
LIVE 14'
Game Details
Mérida
Toluca
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
Morelia
Necaxa
0
0
LIVE 10'
Game Details
Veracruz
Oaxaca
0
0
LIVE 5'
Game Details
Atlas
Dorados de Sinaloa
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Celaya
Puebla
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
UNAM
Atlante
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Novo Hamburgo
ABC
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
CR Vasco da Gama
AA Ponte Preta
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
Bragantino
São Paulo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Internacional
Ceará
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Manchester City
Liverpool
0
0
LIVE 48'
Game Details
Los Caimanes
César Vallejo
1
0
FT
Game Details
UTC
Juan Aurich
3
1
FT
Game Details
Universitario de Deportes
Real Garcilaso
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U. Católica
Mushuc Runa
0
1
FT
Game Details
Emelec
Deportivo Quito
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Club Deportivo Cuenca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Olmedo
El Nacional
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Liga de Loja
LDU Quito
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Antigua
Municipal
1
1
FT
Game Details
Washington Spirit
FC Kansas City
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Houston Dash
Seattle Reign FC
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next
ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Mar 31, 2014

Alves sticks up for under-fire Neymar

Barcelona head coach Tata Martino believes that a footballer like Neymar can play anywhere on the pitch.

Dani Alves has defended his Barcelona teammate and compatriot Neymar, claiming the forward has only been criticised in recent weeks following allegations over his controversial summer transfer from Santos.

Neymar helped himself to a brace against Celta Vigo.
Neymar has struggled for form and fitness during the furore surrounding his transfer to Barca.

• Ledwith: Magical Messi on song
• Tomas: Building Barca's future
• PickCenter: Atletico vs. Barcelona Insider

Neymar, 22, has scored just three goals and provided one assist in nine matches since returning from a month out with an ankle injury, and missed three clear goalscoring opportunities in Barca's 1-0 win at Espanyol on Saturday.

Alves claims recent media criticism of the Brazil international coincided with speculation about the player's contract and the circumstances of his transfer, which led to Sandro Rosell resigning as Barcelona president in January amid allegations of unpaid tax relating to the signing.

Criticism of Neymar has not just been confined to the press, however, with former Barca player and coach Johan Cruyff remarking last week that the 22-year-old's arrival had destabilised the Barca dressing room.

Neymar has shrugged off the criticism, while Alves has stuck up for his beleaguered team-mate, insisting he is being blamed for the fallout from the transfer.

"I think the criticism only started when the details about his contract emerged, before that everyone was happy with him," Alves told a press conference.

"We should not judge him on how much he cost, but on how well he is playing. For me now he is playing as well as he was at the start of the season.

"You expect that there will always be a period of adaptation when a player arrives in a new country, but he has been playing well.

"The club paid so much for him because he is worth it. People have paid more money for players that haven't been worth it."

Alves did acknowledge that Neymar was under pressure to deliver at this vital stage of the season, in which the club are fighting to win the Primera Division, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

"We are at the key stage of the season and it's normal that people are demanding a lot of him," continued the full-back. "People are only demanding a lot of him because they know what he is capable of.

"And he has to keep demonstrating how good he is. If you don't do that in football, you take a step backwards. If today he plays 10/10, tomorrow he has to play 15/10."

Information from the Press Association was used in this article.

 
 

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.