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Apr 17, 2013

Neymar praises Messi, Ronaldo

Neymar has lavished praise on Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona and Real Madrid in a Spanish TV interview.

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The Santos player, long linked with a move to one of Europe's big sides, was diplomatic when talking about La Liga's big two and their respective superstars on Spanish TV show Fiebre Maldini.

He voiced admiration for his fellow South American Messi, adding: "Messi is extraordinary, one of the best players I have ever seen. He has one chance and he scores. I am a big fan of his."

The Sao Paolo-born attacker was also quick to praise Ronaldo, saying: "Cristiano is a monster. He scores goals in every possible way - headers, free-kicks - and he is quick, tall, strong. He has all the characteristics a player could have."

Barcelona are reportedly the current front-runners for Neymar's signature, according to the Catalan press, with blaugrana president Sandro Rosell's links with Brazil and Nike seen as an advantage.

The much-hyped 21-year-old said he enjoyed watching the simple yet beautiful way in which Barca play the game.

"There is no answer to their style," he said. "If there was, then everyone could beat them. I cannot explain the way they play. The best thing about the team is how easy they make it look. They transform the simple into the most beautiful."

He was almost as complimentary about Madrid and the strength of the Bernabeu side's squad.

"They have big, big stars," he said. "They have players with a lot of quality. Many players would like to be there."

There were more kind words about Spain's national side, seen by many as the most likely challenger to Neymar's country in next year's World Cup in Brazil.

"I like Xavi [Hernandez], [Andres] Iniesta and [Cesc] Fabregas a lot," he said. "They are three players I admire them for their talent and the good people they are, although I follow them from afar. They seem simple people, but they play enormous football."

Some pundits have argued that Neymar should move to Europe to gain more competitive experience ahead of the World Cup, but the player suggested the differences between the Brazilian and European leagues were not so important.

"Maybe the principal difference is that in Europe there is more power but, in my opinion, football is the same all over the world," he said. "There are two goalposts, one ball and everyone trying to score."

Wherever he might play later in his career, the most important thing would always be to enjoy his football, Neymar added.

"What I want is to be happy playing," he said. "I am at Santos today but, wherever I am, I want to play football, help my team, score goals, playing always in the best competitions."

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