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Jun 7, 2013

Tiago Splitter counsels Neymar

San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter is a huge fan of Barcelona's passing game and said he hopes compatriot Neymar will get the hang of the club's tiki-taka style quickly, according to a report.

"I think it is going to cost him a little to adapt to Spanish football because the defense is tougher, but with a talented team like Barcelona, once he gets used to their system of passing all the time," Splitter told Marca on Thursday night. "I'm not an expert but I hope it goes well for him."

While much has been made of how Neymar and Lionel Messi will play together on the pitch, Splitter said "of course they can play together."

Splitter credits another Argentine with helping him learn the NBA game upon his arrival in San Antonio in 2010 from Spanish league team Baskonia.

Splitter was Spanish league MVP in 2010 but said he struggled with his rebounding and passing his first season with the Spurs.

"(Manu) Ginobili helped me to adapt to the team," Splitter told Brazilian daily Folha de Sao Paolo earlier this week. "It's easy to play with him. He's the kind of guy who sees the angles and can play very good."

Splitter said he is rooting for the home team for Confed Cup.

"They still haven't come together as a team but I have faith that Felipao (Scolari) will do a good job," Splitter told Marca. "The most important thing is to play well and get into a form that we don't have yet, although I think Spain could win it in Maracana."

Splitter said "it's an honor" that the Spanish national team showed up for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

"A team that has won the World Cup and in Europe by playing well and playing a type of football that we all like," Splitter said. "I haven't been able to see them in person but I saw them up on the big screen. When they play against Brazil I hope Brazil wins and that we find our form and we develop the talent that we have."

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