Neymar hits back over showboating

The Brazil star flicked the ball over Unai Bustinza with both feet as the Catalans closed in on a 27th cup triumph to go with the La Liga title they won two weeks ago, Saturday’s victory keeping them on course for the treble.

Bilbao’s outraged players immediately surrounded the 22-year-old and Barca’s veteran captain, Xavi, had to lead his team-mate away from the fracas.

“They can be angry, but it is my way of playing and I have done so for years,” Neymar said.

“Just because others get angry doesn’t mean I am going to change my style of play.”

Despite his player’s defiance, Barca boss Luis Enrique had strong words for the man whose goal was sandwiched between a Lionel Messi double.

“In Spain this is looked on very badly,” Enrique said. “If I was an Athletic player I would have reacted the same, or even worse.

“In Brazil this is normal, so we have to understand the context. He didn’t do it to humiliate his opponent; it is difficult to explain it when someone is losing but we will try to control it with time.”

Enrique’s oppositie number, Ernesto Valverde, also fired a warning.

“It is not even looked upon well by his own fans,” Valverde said.

“When the game is won we are very well aware to maintain certain respect for the opponent. There are things that he will learn with time.”

Advising Neymar to follow the lead of team-mate Messi, Athletic captain Andoni Iraola added:??”For me it didn’t seem elegant or sporting at all.

“He has examples in his own team that he should pay attention to because he has much to learn from them.”