Hardly putting a foot wrong during his first season at Manchester United, Eric Bailly has quickly become a fan favourite at Old Trafford with his unorthodox yet somehow efficient style of defending.
Back in his home country, however, things turned a bit sour back in July when, after a couple of losses, certain former players criticised their national team’s performances, which the defender didn’t take too kindly to.
Expressing his feelings in a six minute video, the Manchester United centre-back asked the aforementioned group to stop criticising and start supporting the current team, and to let journalists do the commenting.
This, perhaps understandably, didn’t go down all that well, and Bailly has since been branded as ‘big-headed’ by Valer Gourizo, a football agent based in England.
Speaking to SportMania, he said: “Players need to understand that when you play for your country, you’ll always be criticised. At the top, you have to accept it. Eric Bailly lacked respect towards the ‘greats’ with what he said.
“He was arrogant and disrespectful. That’s the money going to his head. If you want to be respected, you must be respectful yourself, especially since he hasn’t done anything symbolic for the Ivorian people, like building a school, for example”.
Bailly’s comments also came off the back of Ivory Coast international Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba criticising the selection of Serge Aurier as the country’s captain, stating the Paris Saint-Germain defender ‘was not an example to follow’ and explaining there were more ‘exemplary’ players to choose from.
That’s the same Serge Aurier who has been a reported target for Manchester United recently, with claims from France the player has agreed terms with the Red Devils ahead of a possible transfer to Old Trafford, subject to him being allowed in the United Kingdom.