Luis Enrique is a pretty cool customer, so the Barcelona head coach was never likely to get flustered after hearing that Neymar had said he admired Pep Guardiola and “would love” to work with the revered Catalan coach.
It wasn’t great timing on Neymar’s part, admittedly. The Brazilian is currently being linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United and is yet to put pen-to-paper on a contract extension at the Camp Nou.
But Enrique will be acutely aware that Neymar is happy at Barcelona and wants to continue playing for the Catalan giants for the foreseeable future - so his response to the player’s Guardiola comments was actually quite humorous.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Enrique was asked about Neymar’s comments in his pre-match press conference and was quoted by Spanish newspaper Marca as saying: "I think that Neymar has excellent taste."
Guardiola and Enrique, of course, shared a dressing room at the Camp Nou during the late 1990s. The two coaches are still friends and have great mutual respect for one another.
Enrique isn't worried Neymar will leave Barcelona
Enrique handled the question perfectly. It shows he’s not in the least bit concerned that Neymar could end up following Guardiola to Manchester this summer.
Neymar will know full well that moving away from the Camp Nou - with the possible exception of Real Madrid - would be a step down for him.
The 23-year-old is playing alongside the world’s best players at Barcelona and looks likely to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or over the coming years. Earlier this month he finished third on the podium, behind his idol Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, after scoring a magnificent 39 goals last season.
It’s hard to imagine Neymar taking a big risk by leaving his current employers.
Will Neymar be tempted to leave Barcelona in the near future? Have your say by leaving a comment below.