Antony defended by Brazilian teammates Fred and Neymar following backlash over showboating
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Manchester United's Antony has been defended by Neymar and Fred following backlash over his showboating in the Europa League this week.
The former Ajax winger took the opportunity during the 3-0 win over Sherriff Tiraspol to bring out his trademark pirouette at Old Trafford, before than seeing his attempted pass to Casemiro trickle out for a goal kick.
Whilst many saw it as a bit of harmless fun, some pundits were quick to criticise the Brazilian with the likes of Robbie Savage and Paul Scholes speaking out against the 22-year-old.
Speaking on BT Sport, Scholes slammed Antony by calling him a ‘clown’ who was ‘not entertaining anybody’, whilst Savage commented that it was ’embarrassing’ and that he should have been ‘dragged’ off the pitch by manager Erik ten Hag.
Neymar took to social media to defend his compatriot with a post on Instagram where he gave a passionate response and told Antony to 'keep it up' in relation to his flair on the pitch.
Antony himself also hit out with his own message for his haters which read: “We are known for our art and I will not stop doing what has brought me to where I am!”
With support coming from one of the famed showman of world football, he also received support from his fellow countryman and teammate Fred.
“It’s very annoying that they want to say that,” Fred told ESPN. “I think it starts with us being Brazilians. Brazilians have quality in their blood. It’s always been that way since Pele, to have quality, to dribble, to score, to dance, to smile.
“Of course, if it’s offensive, we’ll come to him in the dressing room and talk. But it was not offensive to anyone. It’s his game. I think he has to keep doing it."
The winger was replaced at half-time but it was revealed by Ten Hag insisted that it had nothing to do with the incident or any of his tricks and flicks.
Although he did say that he would 'correct' the winger in the future and revealed that as long as the tricks have a 'functional' purpose for the team.
“I don’t have a problem with that as long as it’s functional,” said the Dutchman about Antony’s skills.
“So from him I demand more: more runs in behind, more often in the box, more tempo dribbles especially and more playing in the pocket.
“But if it’s a trick for the sake of a trick, then I will correct him.”
Antony had enjoyed a good start to his United career which saw him score on his debut in the 3-1 win over Arsenal earlier in the season, but has managed three goals in 11 games in all competitions to date.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Antony, Neymar, Manchester United, Paul Scholes