In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona striker Neymar has revealed his first impressions of his new teammates.
The Brazilian, currently with the Blaugrana squad in Malaysia where Barca play the final game of their Asian tour on Saturday, admitted he had been particularly surprised by Pedro Rodriguez.
“All the Barcelona players are very good but I like Pedro a lot because he is capable of doing everything on the pitch. He runs, scores, attacks, defends...he is a footballer who has really surprised me.”
Neymar was asked to give his opinion on several members of Tata Martino’s squad.
“Iniesta is one of the best players in the world and you notice the ease with which he moves. He’s amazing, while Xavi [Hernandez] possesses fantastic vision.
“Then there is [Sergio] Busquets in central midfield, who is mostly quieter than Xavi but does some tremendously important work for the team. He has the gift of being everywhere on the pitch.
“Pique? A brilliant defender, with great quality and very skilful. They tell me he is also very good going forward. Beside him we have Mascherano, another fantastic player who marks very well and is a great defender.
“There is also Alexis [Sanchez], who is very skilful and very fast.”
The 21-year-old also admitted he was glad Cesc Fabregas will remain at the club this season, despite strong interest from Manchester United.
“I’ve been told he’s staying. He’s fantastic and I love his vision on the field. I have a good friend in Brazil who is a fan of, his so I’ll take him a signed shirt when I go back because he’s always asking me,” said Neymar, before disclosing that the Barca players do not talk much about great rivals Real Madrid.
“They don’t really speak about them in the dressing room. We are not obsessed with Madrid and there are other teams we must consider.”
Finally, the former Santos player was questioned about reports he needed to put on extra weight to cope with the demands of playing in La Liga.
“I don’t need to. I’ve spoken to the doctors about it and I’m fine,” he insisted.
Think you know your Spanish football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!