Guangzhou Evergrande Coach Felipe Scolari feels any team would miss Neymar, but Barcelona have ’25 players of a different style.’
Neymar will sit out the Club World Cup semi-final between the sides and it’s not yet known if he’ll be ready for the final, should Barca see off their Chinese opponents.
“[Neymar] is one of the top three players in the world and has continued to progress in the last five years,” AS reports Scolari saying of a player he worked with for the Brazil national team.
“Any team would miss his absence, but Barcelona have 25 players of a different style. If they keep fighting like this they’ll be the best in the world for many years.
“Lionel Messi is always one of the best in the world. He’s in a position in which you don’t only have to mark him, you have to mark the whole group because he makes the team play.
“The solution isn’t marking him alone. Barca have a lot of very good players, such as Andres Iniesta or Luis Suarez. We have to pay attention to all of them.
“There’s no special motivation [against Barca]. We won’t do anything special. We’re the champions of Asia, we have to be motivated. How many teams in the world want to be in our place? That’s the ultimate motivation.”
Scolari also confirmed he was once offered the chance to take the Barca bench, but a commitment to Portugal meant he had to say no.
“When my friend Sandro Rosell was President, we talked and I could have accepted the offer, but I had two years with Portugal and couldn’t abandon my ethics,” he acknowledged.
“I like Barca on and off the pitch, but it was a while ago and that time has passed.”