Why the Neymar, Bale, Pogba hype risk damaging soccer’s reputation

Neymar Jr has done no good to his image with his unending rolling on the pitch while Gareth Bale fell out of favour at Real Madrid and Paul Pogba is still struggling to impose himself at Manchester United.

What went wrong with these superheroes of the beautiful game?

Neymar Jr earned the nickname of ‘Batman’, or the ‘Lord of the Night’. He was partying and this got the boardroom worried.

But it is his recent nickname that has fans rolling on the floors.

The world had players who were even more famous and battered on the fields, but they did not roll over the to the moon like the video above suggests.

Players took turns to hack Pelé, the most famous football player for many generations.

The youngsters may not know the history behind soccer, their favourite game, but Pelé is someone you cannot just ignore.

Yet he did not earn the nicknames of play-acting or faking and diver like many modern players.

Well, Neymar Jr earns his nicknames because he makes it happen.

And that is a pity for the greatest sports of all time.



Bale, 30, has won four Champions League titles since joining Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.

His transfer was a world record at 100 million euros but did he live to the expectations despite the League titles win?

Last season he struggled and was criticised for not filling the shoes of Christiano Ronaldo who left for Juventus.

He won a La Liga and a Copa del Rey and one must say he played his part in these successes with great goals.

The Telegraph calls him <<Britain’s most successful ever football export.>>

Yet, he was never Real Madrid’s key player, overshadowed by Ronaldo.

Was the 100 million euros well spent?

He is no Neymar Jr and did not earn a silly nickname. An honest player with a difficult challenge at Real? Perhaps.

But the hype did live to the expectations.



A great player for France, winning the World Cup 2018 in style and given great hope to the Manchester United fans.

But last season was not the best for Pogba who is struggling to impose his style and his leadership on the team.

Rumours of him leaving Manchester United for better pastures show he has his heart elsewhere.

Players can blame the team for not performing to their standards but teammates can also say they are not getting the best from one of the most expensive players in the world.

Perhaps Pogba is still young and lacks some leadership skills? Younger players who are not as expensive as Pogba has done well in the past.

Some are proving to be better in terms of efficiency and leadership. Christiano Ronaldo was one.

But again the hype overshadowed the problems the player is having at Manchester United.

Mark Huges had a greater impact when he came back to Manchester United.

Huges came back with a bang, winning trophies and scoring smashing goals.

Pogba can probably do better if he focuses on his role at the club, instead of dreaming of playing elsewhere to win big trophies.

Before he turns into another hype, Pogba must live up to the expectations. The standards are there but it is his mind that he has to settle with.


The Sprinta makes waves at Dutch Grand Prix

KUALA LUMPUR — Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s title sponsor, Petronas at the recent Dutch Grand Prix in Assen, says it has successfully integrated its new engine oil, Petronas Sprinta with the Yamaha YZR- M1 of Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo.
Uniquely formulated to suit the characteristics of the Yamaha bikes, Sprinta is expected to boost the engine’s performance and reliability while providing superior engine cleanliness.

It was an opportune time for Petronas to introduce the new engine oil as rookie Fabio took pole position and finished third at the Dutch Grand Prix.
The development of Sprinta was completed in less than a year using Pe’ Petronas proprietary base oil produced in its refinery in Malaysia and it is the second product to be introduced by Petronas to the team, with Tutela (transmission fluids) being the first at the Qatar Grand Prix.
Noor Afiza Mohd Yusof, General Manager of Brand Management Department, Group Strategic Communications Petronas says: “Petronas is highly motivated to leverage on MotoGP to showcase its technology, products and people. When we first embarked on the project to develop products for the team, the timeline given was two years, but in less than a year, we have already successfully assimilated two products into the bikes – Tutela and Sprinta.

“We are proud to have reached this milestone at an accelerated pace and have Fabio take pole and finish the race on the podium with Franco coming in fifth.

<< This makes the Petronas Sprinta debut even more special >> — Noor Afiza Mohd Yusof



“Sprinta is specially designed to deliver performance and reliability because, in motorsports, it’s pointless going faster and having more power if you damage the engine or do not finish the race. The key for this success is the close working relationship that we share with Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd.,” said Dr Andrea Dolfi, Head, R&D Fluid Technology Solutions, Technology Research, Group Research & Technology, Project Delivery & Technology, Petronas.
Wilco Zeelenberg, Petronas Yamaha SRT team manager said: “We are proud of our first race result using both

Petronas Sprinta and Tutela. It has been highly impressive to see how quickly Petronas has responded to the unique challenges of MotoGP and been able to perform at the highest level right off the bat. To be on the podium for the first time with Sprinta feels fantastic and big compliments to everyone involved in this project.

<< We look forward to further developments through the season >> — Wilco Zeelenberg

After Assen, Sprinta’s ability was further underlined at the German Grand Prix last weekend where Fabio took his fifth consecutive qualifying front row start with Franco in the third row. The race, however, proved difficult as the former crashed in the opening stages of the race while the latter finished in top-10.

Younger Utd players impress

Impressive performances for Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, Angel Gomes, Talith Chong the youngsters in the Manchester United squad in the friendly against Leeds Utd in Australia.

At 4-0, Manchester United could not ask for more in the pre-season. They are proclaimed the Champs of Australia after winning both friendlies.

Leeds were rolled over by two different sides of the same team with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer completely rotating his side at half-time.

Two goals in each half got United the win.

Rashford scored a briliant goal, hit the post once and Daniel James too hit the post in a match where Leeds showed some quality.

But it was nothing compared to the old encounters between the two great sides in the league.

Greenwood, Anthony Martial (penalty) and Phil Jones scored for United.

Not to forget that Paul Pogba was impressive and new boy Aaron Wan-Bissaka was impactful.

With James and Bissaka, the team looks sharp in attack and constant in defence.

But the real pre-season test is in Singapore where the clud fights it out in a friendly against AC Milan.

AC Milan will possibly make an offer to Manchester United to snap its centre-back Eric Bailly, according to reports.

The Serie A giants are looking for a new defender and they think Bailly is a good bet.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed he will trim his squad once he lands Harry Maguire from Leicester City.

Bailly is one of the players on the list. He failed to live up to the hype following his £34m move from Villarreal in 2016, making just 18 appearances last season and only five under Solskjaer.