BARCELONA: South American Footballer of the Year Neymar has cautioned Barcelona’s supporters that he needs time before he can be expected to make the sort of mark at the club attributed to fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho.
The 21-year-old striker, who has joined from Santos for E57m, was quick to play down comparisons with Ronaldinho, who spent five seasons in the Catalan capital and won the league twice and Champions League once.
Neymar, who will join up with Lionel Messi in seeking a fifth league title in six years and a fifth European crown, will probably make his debut against Lechia Gdansk in Poland on July 20.
In an interview with Barca TV, Neymar said: “You cannot compare anyone with Ronaldinho. He made history atBarcelona, he made history in the Brazil national team and he continues to make history.
“In my case I am only just starting to make history and I also hope to be able to leave my mark here in Barcelona.”
Neymar played for Santos against Barcelona in the final of the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup and he said that the 4-0 defeat was “the day I learned to play football.”
He added: “What struck me most was the simplicity of Barca’s play. It was sensational. They left everyone open-mouthed. Not just the Barca fans or the media but even our Santos players.”