Football

Barcelona fans loved what Paulinho did to Neymar in Brazil training

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After a surreal weekend across Catalonia, Barcelona sit top of La Liga by five points following their 3-0 victory over Las Palmas.

The fixture was played behind closed doors amid the violent scenes of the region's independence referendum.

While Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi would no doubt have preferred to score their goals in front of a packed Nou Camp, they will still have taken plenty of satisfaction from the result - and all the more so given the difficult circumstances.

The Blaugrana are now top of La Liga by five points and lead Real Madrid, who languish in fifth, by seven points.

Few would have predicted that in the summer, when Barca were allegedly in crisis.

Their transfer policy was called into serious question when Neymar left for PSG. Granted, there wasn't much they could have done to stop that, as the Parisians activated his world record €222million release clause.

They then proceeded to spend a chunk of that money - £36.4m to be precise - on former Tottenham flop Paulinho.

The Brazilian's move may have raised a few eyebrows at the time, but maybe we were all wrong about the midfielder.

A tally of two goals and an assist in six league games, and Ernesto Valverde's decision to bring him in isn't looking quite so bizarre after all.

Paulinho the icon

Maybe it's a little far-fetched to say Paulinho will ever be a fan favourite. However, he's certainly done his reputation the world of good with his latest incident on international duty.

As Brazil prepared for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Chile, Paulinho and Neymar came face to face in training.

Spurs fans will remember that their former player can be a little clumsy at times, and so it was when he inadvertently - at least we assume it was an accident - left a foot in and tripped Neymar up.

Take a look:

The world's most expensive player was then left clutching his foot and being attended to by team doctors, although it seems the injury wasn't serious. 

For fans of the seleção, there is absolutely nothing funny about their poster boy taking a knock, even if Brazil have already qualified for next year's tournament in Russia.

Barca fans react 

There must have been quite a few grimaces at PSG too - but not in Barcelona:

Topics:
Neymar
Football
Barcelona
Brazil Football
La Liga
World Cup

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