Who remembers Dorival Júnior? A historic name in Brazilian and South American football, but renowned globally as the coach who got sacked for refusing to let Neymar take a penalty.
In 2010, Neymar, still a Santos player, was told he couldn’t take a penalty as Dorival wanted Marcel to take the penalty.
An affronted Neymar turned his back on the kick and afterwards angrily confronted Dorival on the Santos bench, needing to be restrained by the linesman as his coach looked away dismissively.
Neymar afterwards apologised for his behaviour, but Dorival Junior still opted to punish the Brazil international by leaving him out of the squad for the Sao Paulo clasico against Corinthians.
That decision didn’t go down well with the Club President Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro who demanded that Neymar be reinstated – the club had a running deal in place with a sponsor for every appearance Neymar made, this ‘punishment’ meant that Santos will be losing money – for financial reasons.
Dorival Junior, fresh from winning the Paulista Championship and an unprecedented Copa do Brasil, refused to take the order and instead told the press – after the meeting with the President and reportedly agreeing to reinstate him – that Neymar will still serve the internal suspension meted out.
Santos president was enraged by the decision and few hours later, Dorival Junior was sacked as it became clear who was the boss at Santos.