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.