Barcelona full-back Adriano believes teammate Neymar is ahead of Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale at this stage of his career.
Neymar and Bale were La Liga’s two stellar signings of the summer and inevitable comparisons have been drawn between the pair, although Adriano feels that the Brazilian, who he also backed against claims he goes down too easily, has the edge.
“Neymar is ahead of Bale for what he has done in football, for what he is in Brazil and for what he is doing at Barcelona,” maintained Adriano in an interview with La Graderia.
“As for diving, Neymar is not theatrical and does not throw himself to the floor. Players are looking out for him because they know him from Brazil.
“There are fouls that have been given against him, but there have also been fouls and penalties that have not been awarded.
“Have the recent comments about him diving made referees conditioned against him? I think so because they say he goes down a lot, he is a diver, and in the end the officials will think he goes down easily.
“But it’s not like that. We see the fouls against him, there are cameras there, and some of the tackles are even dangerous because they can cause injury.”
Adriano also spoke of Neymar’s relationship with Lionel Messi and the issue of former Barca boss Tito Vilanova’s illness.
“Neymar’s relationship with Messi is great and is getting better every day. He is adapting very well to the team and to Leo’s game, so I think they can become the best forward pairing in football.
“With Tito we knew his illness could come back again, although you don’t want to believe it, and when it happened the dressing room was very down.
“It was a blow, but the main thing is his health and that he wins this battle, which is the most important of his life,” he explained.