Neymar can be the best in the world but he has to grow up first | Ed Aarons

The Brazilian has been heavily criticised for his reaction to being trodden on by Mexico’s Miguel Layún but perhaps it is no wonder he is self-centred when he has always got his way

“I do not punish him for pleasure, I do it because it is necessary,” insisted Santos’s coach, Dorival Junior. It was September 2010 and an 18-year-old Neymar had been banished from the first team and fined a third of his month’s wages after throwing a tantrum when he was not allowed to take a penalty during a match against Atlético Goianiense.

Twenty-four hours later, Dorival was packing his bags after the Santos board opted to side with their teenage prodigy rather than the man who had just led their team to a thrilling victory in the Campeonato Paulista, winning 65% of his matches. The message was clear: Neymar is most important.

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