T’s are crossed and i’s dotted on Neymar’s new contract, keeping him at the club through the 2020-21 season. Neymar, 24, will make his 100th La Liga appearance with his next step onto the pitch. Lionel Messi’s deal runs through 2017-18, and Luis Suarez’s goes through 2018-19. He’s scored 59 goals in league play, and has 91 total when you include all 150 of his matches in a Barca kit. Neymar is on a similar scoring rate to last season, when he netted 31 times. The Brazilian also has 49 international goals in 73 caps.
Jose Mourinho’s career has been ruled by irony. It was ironic that Mourinho, the young translator who wanted to be a coach and whom Louis van Gaal didn’t quite know what to do with during the Dutchman’s time as Barcelona manager, wound up being a formidable foible in the Premier League almost two decades later – when Mourinho’s Chelsea handily won the league as van Gaal’s Manchester United crumbled. It was ironic that when van Gaal left Barca in 2000, Mourinho was let go as well, even though he had predated van Gaal.
Luis Enrique believes Valencia fans making Paco Alcacer a target for animosity is a completely normal and unremarkable side effect of football. The 23-year-old left Valencia for Barca in a deal reportedly worth €30million at the end of August and his decision to leave while the club went through a difficult period did not go down well with supporters. Although unlikely to start for Barca as they head to Mestalla in LaLiga on Saturday, Alcacer is sure to receive a frosty reception upon his first return, but Luis Enrique had no sympathy for either party.