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Other SportsManchester United winger Antony hits back at Neville, Ferdinand and Co

Manchester United winger Antony hits back at Neville, Ferdinand and Co

Manchester United winger Antony has lashed out at his critics – which include the likes of Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes – and claimed the “digital court” of social media is making life harder during his current “period of turbulence”.

The Brazil international has struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford following his £85million move from Ajax last year, and has also had issues off the field with allegations of assault made by three separate women in his homeland. The player denies any wrongdoing.

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And while the 23-year-old accepts pressure comes from playing for clubs such as Manchester United, he feels TV pundits often criticise without knowing the full story.

Antony told the United Stand: “My life has always been very challenging, and I have had to go through many situations that many cannot imagine. I grew up in a hostile place, where eating, having a good house, having the internet, and access to a good education were a privilege; I would say that for us on the ‘favelas,’ all of these were a luxury few people could have. This was a period in which I learned to deal with pressure and challenges. The pressure of life.

“Today, I see criticism coming from former club players and other people in the media, who unreasonably express their opinions and influence thousands of fans, sometimes even when I do not play.

“But I’ve never seen them give constructive criticism, which will help me be a better professional. None of them have ever sent me a message to see how I am feeling, especially during this period of turbulence that I am going through.

“The ‘digital court’ is ruining lives; contexts are left aside, and the truth no longer matters.”

Antony, who is in the squad for tonight’s game with Chelsea at Old Trafford, is now working hard to get back to his best and help United climb the Premier League table.

He added: “I am silently rebuilding myself, and I know that I will be able to be in my best physical and mental shape and overcome all these barriers and challenges that are in front of me because it has always been like this in my life; no one has ever given me anything, I have always fought hard for everything I achieved!

“I would like to know how these people who make these unfair and malicious criticisms fared in my place.

“I’m 23 years old, and my life has changed radically in the last four years. It wasn’t easy to assimilate and understand all those changes.

“My daily battle is getting back in my best shape and performing at the highest level on the field, regaining my integrity, and having peace of mind! I advise those young players to take care of their mental side and work hard; then, things will happen naturally.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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