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VERDICT | The dust has settled on Neymar’s move to PSG, but La Liga’s petulance must not be forgotten

Did you ever have that friend as a youngster that was adamant you missed them while playing cops and robbers or that they’d miraculously dodged your point-blank shot to the point that they walk off in a huff?

Hello, La Liga officials.

First of all, they dragged their heels during the initial transfer of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain two weeks ago. They rejected the club’s attempted payment of the release clause, which was accepted by Barcelona, which is something that simply delayed the inevitable.

Once the player himself got involved, they stood down. The Spanish officials just wanted to throw their toys out of their pram, letting the world know they weren’t happy with a star attraction leaving for another destination.

Their reasoning at the time?: “Neymar is being taken by a financially-doped team that competes with an advantage. State-backed clubs need to be stopped.”

Pot, meet kettle, you are very much alike.

LFP president Javier Tebas was once quoted as saying “a strong Barcelona and Real Madrid benefits all of Spain.” 

Does it really benefit a league that the majority of their TV deals go to the top two clubs, growing the gap between them and the rest? Something almost every other club has complained about? Doesn’t sound so beneficial to those without those kinds of hand-outs.

So, now that one of their clubs is almost forcefully trying to pry the likes of Ousmane Dembélé and Philippe Coutinho away from Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool respectively, will they stand in the way of those over €100m deals?

Ligue 1 even had their say, calling for the counterparts to respectfully do as every other nation at least tries to and not meddle. The fact that La Liga think they have the authority over everyone to pull such a move is still quite astonishing.

The noble knights only come to the aid of their own, attempting to police a situation they have no jurisdiction in. Financial Fair Play may not have been fully adhered to but that’s not their problem to solve, that investigation lies with UEFA and if wrong-doing has occurred, there will be consequences.

It almost felt like a public citizen’s arrest.

They feel cheated that PSG executed a power move with almost seamless perfection. Neymar’s desire to be the main man and chase the Ballon D’Or, combined with a bucket-load of cash, a great city and an achievable buyout clause, all the stars seemed to align.

Even Barcelona’s players have admitted in the aftermath that they knew he was leaving almost as far as a month ago. They got over it but the LFP couldn’t let it slide.

With the 25-year-old in Paris and presented to the Parc des Princes crowd, La Liga still continued to drag their heels. They failed to send the paperwork in time for the Amiens game and they seemingly held out until the last moment to verify his documentation ahead of his debut against Guingamp.

Neymar glittered in front of a packed 18,000 at the Stade du Roudourou, hopefully to the chagrin of those that sought to oppose it for as long as they could.

It’s been nice to giggle at La Liga as they get frustrated at being beaten at their own game. Everyone with great power fights profusely to keep it for as long as they can but this time, this battle has been lost.

I’m sure they won’t suffer irrevocably, having two of the best players ever to grace the game in their ranks still to enjoy. Sharing the wealth around isn’t always so bad, especially as they are preparing to steal everyone else’s again soon enough.

Now let’s get back to matters on the pitch, shall we?

 



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