Why Xavi Shoved Neymar In The Face During Barcelona's Open-Top Bus Parade
Xavi's duty as Barcelona captain was to keep everyone in line and he was willing to go to great lengths to do just that. Just look at his altercation with Neymar back in 2015.
The Blaugrana were celebrating winning a stunning La Liga, Champions League and Copa Del Rey treble with the usual open-top bus parade throughout the streets of Barcelona and everyone was in celebratory mood.
But footage from the celebrations captured Xavi angrily shoving his teammate Neymar in the face before giving him a serious rollocking.
It was such a confusing sight when everyone connected with Barca was supposed to be in great spirits.
But Spain legend Xavi would explain his actions and said he felt the players weren't showing the supporters enough respect.
He told told Qatari newspaper Sport: "He (Neymar) was trying to take my shoes off and pushing me when I was on the edge of the bus.
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"I said that they should stop messing about and concentrate on the people that had come out to wave as the bus passed.
"These parades are for the people after all. It's okay to have three or four beers but the parade is for the people and it's the chance for us to thank them for our support. You can't just do what you want to do."
Xavi was not only a fine footballer but also a great leader who was all about a discipline and respect. He was on his way out to Al-Sadd in Qatar at the time after playing his final game for Barcelona, but still felt the need to give it to Neymar.
Neymar, the world's most expensive player after his £198 million move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, regularly comes under criticism for his showboating and theatrics.
While Xavi understands why some take issue with it, he says he'd rather have on his team.
The Spaniard told AS in 2018: "It's the way he plays, it's just the way he is and that's hard to change. I can understand that it causes problems, some people think he dives too much.
"But what you cannot criticise him for is for lack of trying or for not having personality; he will always take on a player or carry the weight of the team on his shoulders and I would much rather have a player like that on my side than someone who hides or is afraid to take risks."
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