Speaking to Goal, the former Liverpool defender said: “I always say that I would be very disappointed if I was him. With the ambitions he has, and for the quality and talent he has, the fact that he has never won a Ballon d’Or feels wrong. He has all the conditions to do it, but I don’t know what has happened. Maybe some things are more important to him than the game, I don’t know?”
His comments have prompted Neymar into responding, and he did so via an Instagram story.
Aurelio’s suggestions that Neymar has ‘underachieved’ in his career, clearly disgruntled the Brazilian, who responded by sharing an image of his achievements and honours listed on Wikipedia with the caption, “I’m really disappointed, and I haven’t even put it all yet”.
He also went on to share a recorded story, in which he said,
“A five-minute interview and all he did was talk about other people’s lives. If you want to criticize, criticize. But talking s*** like that is not possible.”
With scathing remarks being sent back and forth it doesn’t appear as if that’ll be the end of the saga. A retort from Aurelio could certainly escalate matters further.
His initial opinions that the Brazilian has ‘underachieved’ in his career, didn’t fly well online amongst fans. Neymar’s impressive CV includes a Champions League triumph, multiple La Liga and Ligue 1 titles, and a host of individual honours. He also won the coveted Puskas award in 2011, for his stunning solo effort during his stint his Santos. This list of honours certainly doesn’t paint an image of ‘underachieving’ and would be the envy of many professional players.
While Neymar has always been considered a Ballon d’Or level talent, even if he doesn’t win the Golden ball, calling it a case of wasted potential is harsh.