While both the Brazilian and the English media continue to report that Edu Gaspar could be taking a role at Arsenal this summer, the former midfielder is having a hard time with the national team.
Gaspar is currently a ‘national team coordinator’. He’s basically an extension to the manager’s job, sorting problems with players, schedules and that kind of stuff.
Now with all the controversy around Neymar in the past few days, Gaspar has been giving interviews and clarifying the national team’s stance on the situation.
It turns out that Neymar was injured in a friendly against Qatar last night, and in the dressing room, where there was supposed to be only people from the team, his father turned up.
This is not something new in Brazil. During the 2018 World Cup, families weren’t allowed to stay at the same hotel as the national team. Except for Neymar’s father, of course.
Neymar Santos Sr. has also been getting a lot of exposure lately, as he’s been speaking to TV shows to explain the player’s defence of a rape allegation.
Interviewed by the local media last night, Edu Gaspar has taken responsibility for allowing Neymar’s father to enter the dressing room: “I was watching the game from the tribune and was informed that Neymar’s father was near the locker room. Obviously I authorised it. For him to have his father close in a time like this. I authorised Neymar’s father to enter the locker room to accompany the athlete.” (via Globo Esporte).
The quotes didn’t go down well with journalists who are more critical about the national team. ESPN’s Mauro Cezar Pereira went heavy on Gaspar, recalling the time when the coordinator protected Neymar by saying ‘it’s hard to be him’.
“The CBF president should not be there. There it’s the technical staff, doctors, players, professionals who are directly connected to that context,” Mauro Cezar said on ESPN Brasil.
“Obviously he [Neymar’s father] shouldn’t be there. This is what? A mess. Who is the boss of this thing? Edu Gaspar? Edu Gaspar is going to Arsenal? My condolences, Arsenal.”
“It’s not easy being Neymar?’ That’s Edu Gaspar. That’s Tite, the coach. These guys are subservient, bow to Neymar, to the father of Neymar, whoever it is. This situation is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.”