“Don’t Like It When Footballers Act Tough” – Manuel Akanji After Kyle Walker’s Verbal Spat With Neal Maupay in Manchester City Win

Published 02/07/2024, 2:45 AM EST

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Soccer is a game known for goals and galore. But there are times when ‘the beautiful game’ displays a darker side that is typified by intense clashes between players. Tensions flared during Manchester City’s 1-3 victory over Brentford when Kyle Walker and Neal Maupay got into a verbal scuffle. Amid the controversy, Walker’s teammate Manuel Akanji has expressed a dislike for these kinds of aggressive outbursts, citing that players who pick fights are ‘not tough at all’ in reality.

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This revelation was made in a brief interview with 11 Team Sports. The defender was asked to disclose his biggest soccer ick. Interestingly, he took an indirect dig at his teammate, by replying, “I don’t like it when footballers act tough on the pitch and they’re not tough at all. I hate it because they can do everything on the pitch, but outside of the pitch they won’t do that.” This is indeed quite a bold statement. While the 28-year-old didn’t play against Brentford, he witnessed the altercation from the bench, as the Swiss international had just returned from an injury.

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Notably, Maupay broke the deadlock for his side, but it went in vain as Phil Foden equalized just before the break, only to add a brace in the 2nd half to complete his hat trick. With the win, Manchester City is now ahead of Arsenal on goal difference. Having amassed 49 points, they now trail league leaders Liverpool by just 2 points and have one match in hand. Meanwhile, coming back to the altercation, what exactly transpired between Kyle Walker and Maupay? 

What happened between Kyle Walker and Neal Maupay?

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Professional lip reader Jeremy Freeman exclusively told Daily Mail about what exactly happened between the two stars. Walker approached 4th official Stuart Attwell and said, “I’m gonna knock him [Maupay] out.” While Attwell shushed the defender, the star fullback went to referee Jarred Gillett and said, “Ref, he spoke about my kids, not once, but twice.” However, Maupay was seen defending himself, insisting that it didn’t happen.

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Following the match, talkSPORT approached Pep Guardiola to comment on the incident. He dismissed it, stating, “Nothing happened.” Similarly, Brentford manager Thomas Frank responded to the altercation by stating that he had not discussed it with Neal Maupay.

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Nevertheless, tensions ended automatically after the referee blew the full-time whistle.

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Written by:

Abhishek Mishra

1,680Articles

One take at a time

I first kicked a soccer ball when I was 12. My early exposure to playing the sport earned me many accolades at the zonal and district levels. I still remember my first goal, where I scored a 90+5 minute header like Sergio Ramos did in the 2014 Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz

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