LUIZ Felipe Scolari said Barcelona has to be excited about the prospect of Neymar representing their club next term given his showing in the FIFA Confederations Cup following his big-money move from Santos to the Spanish champion.
The Brazil forward scored an excellent second-half free kick in his nation’s 4-2 victory over Italy Saturday to help the Selecao to victory and underline his credentials as one of the world’s most exciting young players.
His coach was full of praise for the striker, who sealed a big-money move to Camp Nou at the end of May.
“Neymar is an idol for all Brazilians,” Scolari said at a press conference. “To Neymar, and to everyone – even to Barcelona, who bought him and are now probably watching him, they’re probably beaming.
“ Neymar’s goal against the Azzurri was his 23rd goal in 37 caps, and Scolari was quick to underline the quality he has shown for his country, with the free kick he scored on Saturday but one example.
“He had lots of moments of quality, but what decided the game was the free kick,” Scolari said. “He noticed (Gianluigi) Buffon had taken a step to the side and put the ball on the other side. Only players, who have that kind of notion, that we can call genius, are the ones, who make the difference. And he makes the difference.
“Maybe you weren’t seeing it before, but the other players were. He’s a team player, and as a team player he is phenomenal.
“I hope to see the whole team improving. Neymar has been playing well and he’s adding virtues to the team that we always knew he had, but that he could develop further.
“But the team needs to grow as a whole, and in doing so Neymar will grow with us.”