Antony has fired back at stinging criticism from Man Utd legend Paul Scholes when citing “stolen wifi” and “concrete pitches” as reasons why he plays as he does.
Manchester United left it late, though did manage to secure the signature of Erik ten Hag’s primary winger target last summer.
Antony was valued around the £50m mark earlier in the window. United wound up paying £86m (including add-ons), though the Brazilian’s bright start has quickly put the price tag debate on ice.
Antony has three goals in his first six league matches including strikes against Arsenal and Man City. However, curiously enough, the biggest story seemingly centred on his now infamous ‘Antony spin’.
During a Europa League clash against Sheriff Tiraspol, the tricky forward performed two 360 degrees spins with the ball glued to his left foot while unmarked.
The piece of showboating achieved little in terms of beating the closest defender, though did go down well with those in attendance at Old Trafford.
However, Erik ten Hag reacted with a look of bewilderment upon seeing the skill. Speaking in the BT Sport studio post-match, Man Utd legend Paul Scholes also wasn’t amused.
“If I was that number 61 [for Sheriff] I know what I would be doing. I don’t know what he’s doing there. It’s just ridiculous, it’s showboating,” said Scholes.
“Look at that [Ten Hag’s bewildered reaction], that sums it up. What’s he thinking of. He’s not beating a man, he’s not entertaining anybody, it’s 0-0.
“Then he kicks the ball out. That’s the way he plays, I’ve seen him do it many times for Ajax as well. That’s just the way he is but I think he needs that knocking out of him.”
Scholes later rounded off his criticism by adding: “I don’t know if that’s skill or entertainment. That’s being a clown.”
Antony hits back in style
Now, writing for the Players’ Tribune, Antony has set the record straight with Scholes.
Antony suggested his tricks and flicks are a product of his childhood where he strived to emulate Brazilian legends Ronaldinho and Neymar, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo.
Antony also claimed Scholes simply can’t understand his rags to riches story and evoked memories of watching his icons on stolen wifi and playing on concrete pitches.
“If you think I’m just a clown, then you don’t understand my story.
“The art of Ronaldinho and Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Neymar inspired me as a child.
“I watched these Gods in amazement on stolen Wifi, then I went out to the concrete pitch to try to imitate their genius.
“This is my story. If you still don’t understand me, or if you still think that I am a clown, then I will just point to the ink on my arm…
“Whoever comes from the favela knows a little bit of what I’ve been through.
“Those words speak for me. And for us all.”
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