Neymar Comments on Racist Chants Reportedly Heard During Espanyol vs. Barcelona

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2016

FC Barcelona's Neymar kicks the ball during a training session at Miniestadi stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Neymar has revealed he did not hear any of the alleged racist chanting directed at him during Saturday's 0-0 draw between Barcelona and Espanyol at Estadi Cornella-El Prat.

Per Spanish outlet Marca (via BBC Sport), the Brazilian superstar said as much to TV station La Sexta:

"I did not hear anything. It is difficult for things to bother me, I just play football."

Team-mate Andres Iniesta had reported after the game that he heard racist chanting "in one corner, in the first half, from one supporter," although Barca manager Luis Enrique did not comment on the matter after the stalemate, per ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan.

Rafael Hernandez also claimed to have heard the chanting:

However, Espanyol president Joan Collet brushed off the shouts as the same as those directed at Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo during many matches, per Marca: 

"You couldn't hear it on the pitch and it wasn't even identified. In many matches you hear a similar sound aimed at Cristiano Ronaldo [an imitation of his Ballon d'Or celebration] and that's not an insult so I can't consider what happened in Cornella to be either. It was a minority at a specific moment."

Collet's version of events seems to have added credence now, given that Neymar also did not hear any racist abuse directed at him.