Unlike his staggered penalty run ups, Neymar didn’t hesitate for a second when asked to name the world’s best player. In predictable fashion, he chose his talismanic team-mate Lionel Messi, although he refused to pick between the Argentine and Brazilian national icon Pelé.
“With all due respect to Cristiano’s right foot, I’d have to go with Messi’s left peg. But I don’t have a bad right foot myself either”, the Barca number 11 answered jovially during an interview with UOL journalist Mauro Beting.
The 24-year-old found it more difficult to choose between Messi and Pelé though, and to avoid stepping on any toes back in his homeland professed to not having seen enough of his compatriot to give a proper answer. “Unfortunately I’ve never seen Pelé in action. Growing up my granddad and dad would tell me how great he was. It’s a very tricky question because I’ve only seen Messi play. Both of them are geniuses”, he added.
Changing the topic of conversation, he was then asked to choose between Real Madrid and Manchester City. “I’d prefer to see Real Madrid win than Man City”.
The Brazil international admitted that while he’s very happy with life in Cataluña, he would never trade in the Santos coastline for Barcelona’s beaches. “Santos beaches, without a doubt. Playing five-a-side with my mates”.
The South American star has already won the Copa Libertadores and the Champions League. Having tasted victory in both competitions, he said he prefers the European tournament. “The Libertadores is sensational but the Champions League… the first time I heard the anthem was a really special feeling. It’s like being in a videogame; it’s living the dream of every child. That’s why I’m picking the Champions League”.