Neymar is an artist when he’s on the ball. I love to watch him, and during the Champions League Final a couple of years back I made a few quid when he scored the final goal. He is a beautiful player, the sort you would pay good money to see.
He is also a horrible little git, a cheat, a diver, a cynical sod and a nippy sweetie.
There’s being competitive and there’s just being a tosser. Watch his big sarcastic smile after he gets away with a tackle after being booked tonight; he’s just not a nice guy, but a deplorable like sod. He went off shortly after that moment, and was booed all the way.
I hope he gets the full two years which the Spanish prosecutor was threatening him with earlier.
The match was very entertaining, and the gap between the two teams is what told. We played well in spells, but they are a cut above, not just us but most other teams. We did ourselves no favours with some of our misses – big Moussa in particular should have scored – but in the end we’re still a year and some short of this level.
A couple of big signings will hopefully bridge the gap some.
So tonight we officially exit Europe.
There’s another game to come – the one at the Etihad – but our adventures are over for another year. The focus of the whole club ought to be on building towards getting to this same stage next year. The disappointment in going out will be tempered by the fact we have a cup final at the weekend and a chance to grab the first piece of silverware of the new season. That is a big incentive for everyone.
Overall this has been the campaign I expected. Two horrible nights – one in Spain and one at home against the Germans – were offset by that tremendous performance at home against City and the draw in Monchengladbach. They were the games where we showed what we could do.
The dismal fact is that our points total will be the lowest ever for a Scottish Champions League side unless we win in Manchester, but that bothers me less than you might think.
This was the Group of Death.
It was also a great learning experience for our players and one where we trousered large sums of cold, hard cash and in the end that’s probably what this campaign was always going to be about, more or less.
So the miracle didn’t happen, but that’s why it’s called a miracle.
We go on.
Forward to Hampden bhoys.