Former Barcelona President Joan Laporta maintains Lionel Messi is the best player in the world and believes Neymar has reached Cristiano Ronaldo’s level.
Laporta appeared on Onda Cero in advance of the first Clasico of the season and, after discussing Ronaldo’s future and recommending he leave Santiago Bernabeu, was asked about some of the players involved in the fixture.
“[Messi’s fitness] is the secret of the crown and I have no information, honestly,” he said, AS reports, when asked if the Argentine is likely to play.
“Messi is a winner, he likes these kinds of games because they’re the best show on Earth. The whole world will be watching and we hope he can play. If he’s fit, that is minimally, he’ll play.
“Neymar? He’s in the chasing pack [behind Messi]. Leo is the best, on another level, he makes the difference, and there is a group of chasers and Neymar is in it.
“Yes, he’s on a par with Cristiano Ronaldo. Neymar is very good and he’s going to improve.”
Neymar has however been linked with a move from Camp Nou, recently by his father and agent who suggested his son’s tax issues could see him quit Spain.
“I don’t think he’ll go. Neymar is very happy at Barca, playing with Leo. It’s very difficult for a player to want to leave Barca because they’re playing with the best player in history and they enjoy it,” he contended.
“There’s a very good atmosphere in the dressing room and it shows. If you’re happy in the team and the city, why are you going to change?
“Also, I think he’s happy because we’re playing well but we also have to improve a lot to reach our level.”