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"Not Everyone Is Messi"

By Marissa Blackman

Brace yourselves because I'm about to go on a little rant! I can't be the only one who notices these things. I like to get my soccer content from a wide variety of sources. I scroll along the meme-based, click bait ridden accounts just much as I prowl through the latest writings from more reputable sources of "news."

For the past several weeks, I've been seeing posts showing Cavani and Neymar debating over who will take a kick. They all have captions along the lines of "not everyone is Messi." I get what they're saying. Messi would let Neymar take the kick, but Cavani isn't going for that. Ok. Fine. But...there is something so grammatically terrible about that phrase. It must make sense to somebody, but it racks my brain.

There's an even bigger problem with these incessant posts. Neymar has been trying to take a kick for weeks. Cavani has been telling him no for weeks. Cavani has ultimately taken most, if not all, of the debated kicks...for weeks. Why doesn't Neymar give it up already?

I searched the aforementioned awkward phrase, and the earliest of the top references to it I found was from Augst 26th. The 26th was exactly 22 days ago. I had hoped that people were just recycling the same tired footage, but I was wrong. This strange interchange has happened multiple times. Tonight, there is a new video that fits the "not everyone is Messi" theme.

Tonight's video is slightly different from the rest because context reveals that there was added reason for tension in this particular confrontation. Earlier in the match,  Dani Alves took the ball from Cavani and casually gave it to Neymar. Neymar did not score. After all of that, Cavani and Neymar had the argument that is being spread all over the internet.

This is such a ridiculous situation! Neymar seems pretty silly, to say the least, to keep on asking and keep on being denied. It has to get embarrassing after a certain point. This conundrum is certainly beginning to shed an unsavory light on PSG. Especially with Alves stepping into the fray, there is much potential for this situation, albeit comical, to really become a source of division within the club. If nothing else, it's an unnecessary distraction during crucial moments. Whoever takes a kick needs to be focused in order to score, and they certainly don't need to be thinking about the argument they just had with their teammate.

The media seems to be obsessed with pitting Cavani against his new teammates. There were plenty of rumors about alleged disunity between Cavani and Ibrahimovic back when Zlatan joined PSG, and these frequent disagreements between Neymar and Cavani have led to plenty of coverage. GoalESPN, and Fox Sports have all included these shenanigans in headlines for the latest PSG match.

This seems like a very simple problem to solve. Plenty of clubs have designated players to take free kicks, to handles throw-ins, etc. etc. Why can't Unai Emery settle this small power struggle rather than allow his team to be distracted and look insane week after week? Why can't either Neymar or Cavani act like an adult and be a little yielding for the good of the team? There are plenty of kicks to be taken within a game. Can't they share?


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