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Neymar not yet near Messi, says former coach

IANS
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1.21K   //    30 Jul 2013, 14:07 IST

Rio de Janeiro, July 30 (IANS)

Neymar waves to the crowd during the official presentation as a new player of the FC Barcelona at Camp Nou Stadium on June 3, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Neymar’s former coach Muricy Ramalho believes the Brazil striker could not yet be compared to new Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi.

The 57-year-old, sacked as coach of Brazilian top-flight club Santos in June, said Monday that Neymar needed to shine consistently in Europe before being compared to the four-time Ballon d’Or winner, reports Xinhua.

“Messi is number one,” Ramalho said. “Neymar will improve at Barcelona, but he has a long way to go to get to where Messi is.”

Ramalho rejected suggestions from Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff that the pair will not be compatible on the pitch.

“I’m sure they will work well together, there won’t be any problems. Neymar is a good kid and he has a lot of respect for Messi.”

Neymar, who arrived in Barcelona on Sunday following his 57 million-euro transfer from Santos, is set to make his debut for the Catalan club against Polish side Lechia Gdansk on Tuesday.

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