Youngster from Liverpool who was insulted by Neymar but got his retaliation: "Shut up...I earn ten times more." | soccer4u
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Youngster from Liverpool who was insulted by Neymar but got his retaliation: “Shut up…I earn ten times more.”

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On the red half of Merseyside, things were feeling good after the euphoric highs of the “Miracle in Istanbul.” At Anfield, Rafa Benitez and the team of players who helped Liverpool win its fifth European Cup were given a god-like status.

Youngster from Liverpool who was insulted by Neymar but got his retaliation: "Shut up...I earn ten times more."

It might have been intimidating for new players entering that locker room. Benitez believed it was still a possibility for one young full-back, though.

A few weeks after Liverpool’s victory in Turkey, they acquired Sevilla’s Antonio Barragan as a full-back for about £240,000. The young defender, who is only 18 years old, was expected to have a promising future in the game. Would he succeed at Anfield?

After only a few short weeks at Liverpool, Barragan received his senior debut. He made his Champions League third qualifying round debut for the Reds against CSKA Sofia on this day in 2005.

He entered the game in the 78th minute of Liverpool’s 3-1 victory in Bulgaria. The victory was gained for Benitez’s team by a Djibril Cisse goal and a brace from Fernando Morientes.

Barragan accomplished this by breaking a record that many athletes would be happy to own. He participated in this game, making him the youngest player Liverpool has ever had in the Champions League.

Youngster from Liverpool who was insulted by Neymar but got his retaliation: "Shut up...I earn ten times more."

It was a record that stood for more than 15 years before being surpassed in December 2020. In Liverpool’s 1-1 tie with FC Midtjylland, Billy Koumetio, who had previously been a substitute, broke Barragan’s record.

Making your Liverpool debut at the age of 18 would have been an unforgettable experience. It was even more significant because it was done for a club that currently holds the title and was done in the Champions League.

Barragan wasn’t the only Spanish player in the lineup when he joined the club. There were players like Xabi Alonso, Luis Garcia, Josemi, and Morientes in addition to manager Benitez. These would aid the young adult in adjusting to life in Merseyside.

In 2005, Barragan told Liverpool’s club website, “There are a few Spanish players at Liverpool and it does help you fit in better as they speak your language.” “Liverpool is a lovely city, and I truly like it. I am enjoying my stay with a wonderful family who have made me feel extremely welcome.”

Garcia, a fellow Spaniard who plays for Liverpool, was impressed by what he saw from Barragan. Since he had immigrated from Spain when he was still a young man, Garcia was aware of the pressure the defender would be facing.

Garcia remarked in 2005 that Barragan “doesn’t appear too overwhelmed about coming to such a large club in a foreign nation at such a young age.” “He is said to be very well-liked back home. He appeared really outstanding while in training.”

Youngster from Liverpool who was insulted by Neymar but got his retaliation: "Shut up...I earn ten times more."

Barragan would, however, make his one and only first-team Liverpool debut that evening against Sofia. He would instead play for the reserves for the remainder of the 2005–06 season.

Hugh McAuley, the reserve team manager at the time, was impressed by Barragan. The full-back scored frequently, including the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Wolves in the FA Premier Reserve League in September 2005.

During the 2005–06 season, McAuley stated, “Antonio [Barragan] played really well, has good pace, and is quality on the ball down the right hand side. He is also scoring goals, which is a huge plus for us.

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Barragan, though, was leaving Merseyside after just one season and returning to Spain. In the summer of 2006, Liverpool finalized a permanent transfer to Deportivo La Coruna, earning about £675,000—nearly a 300% return on a player who spent just one season with the club and made just one appearance.

Barragan has lived a mostly successful life in his native country since leaving Liverpool. Thereafter, he would have stints at Deportivo and Valencia, the latter of which saw him make news for both good and bad reasons.

Barragan was at Valencia in 2016 during Gary Neville’s disastrous time as manager. Both Barragan and Neville will recall February 7 of that year for the wrong reasons for a very long time.

On that day, Valencia lost to Barcelona 7-0 in the opening leg of a Copa del Rey semifinal, embarrassing them severely. At the Nou Camp on that particular day, Barragan got the start for Valencia and wound up rubbing Neymar the wrong way, sparking a fight between the two.

Barragan allegedly asked Neymar, out of professional courtesy, if he could stop trying to humiliate Valencia, who were down to 10 men after Shkodran Mustafi’s red card, with the score 3-0 to Barca at the half. Neymar’s response was unique in this situation.

According to reports, the Brazilian shrugged, grinned, and told Barragan to “stop up… I earn ten times more than you.” Barragan did not take these remarks very lightly.

The two clubs still had a league game to play later that season after the cup match was done. Barragan was once again tasked with controlling Neymar when Valencia and Barcelona met again in April 2016. This time, Valencia prevailed, with Barca losing 2-1 and Neymar failing to score.

This is when the conflict starts. Both the way his competitor treated him and the outcome left Neymar feeling extremely unsatisfied, and Barragan could not help but make fun of the Brazilian. Barragan was attacked by Neymar from behind after the full-time horn, and his answer was “what is wrong So you’re not insulting or dancing all day today?”

Reports in Spain afterwards claimed that the Brazilian had thrown a water bottle at the defender in the summer after he seemed to smack the former Liverpool player. Barragan wouldn’t stay in Spain for long, whatever happened.

Barragan joined Middlesbrough in the summer of 2016, just after they had been promoted to the Premier League. Even the manager at the time, Aitor Karanka, acknowledged that Barragan’s time at Liverpool had an impact on his choice to sign the defender.

Karanka expressed his delight with his new signing on the club’s official website. “We know a lot about him as a player, and he is a good addition to the squad.

He is a superb young man who has participated in numerous matches for Valencia. Due to his time as a young player in Liverpool, he is also familiar with this nation. He is a wise acquisition for us.

He didn’t contribute all that much to the squad during his one and only season with Boro, though. Unless you count one number Barragan won’t be pleased with.

Barragan made 10 foul shots in the 2016–17 season. To put this in perspective, this was more than Alvaro Negredo, Boro’s leading scorer that season with nine goals, had scored.

Barragan eventually left Boro to sign a permanent deal with Real Betis and relocate back to Spain in 2018, a year after spending a season on loan. He would make another move to Elche in 2020, and only this summer, at the age of 35, he was released and is currently without a club.

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