Did Pierluigi Collina Really Disrespect Neymar?

There’s been a bit of a tempest in a teapot – mostly on Twitter – claiming that retired Italian refereeing legend Pierluigi Collina had something disparaging to say about Neymar.

They tend to go something like this*:

Every tweet I see with this quote points to either another tweet or a Facebook page. There’s no attribution of the quote, and no context of why he would say this.

And I can’t find anywhere else where he did.

There’s no record of him making any Neymar-related comments on news sites, reputable footballing sites or Google search. I know enough Italian to make basic searches, and I’m not seeing anything there.

Don’t get me wrong, Collina is the fiery type.

But he’s also on the UEFA referees committee, and is still heavily involved in Italian refereeing. He has a hand in training many of the referees who would oversee Barcelona in European play. He assesses many of the referees in person, including in the bigger games, where Barcelona would often be.

Saying something like this about an active player in UEFA competitions would seem unwise, and could cast doubt on the fairness of any red card given Neymar by a Collina-influenced referee.

Quite frankly, if someone of Collina’s stature said something like this, Barcelona would have reacted publicly by now.

Add in the fact that I can as of yet only find this in poorly written tweets and…

I call shenanigans.

If anyone can prove me wrong, I’d love to see the article…

*Every time I see Neymar on television it will be very hard for me not to yell: “TAKED NOTE, NEYMAR!”

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