I am only just starting to make history: Barcelona’s Neymar
BARCELONA - ReutersBarcelona’s new signing Neymar is determined to leave his mark on the club but has acknowledged he has a long way to go before he can join the likes of Brazilian compatriot Ronaldinho on the list of Barça legends.
The 21-year-old forward, who has joined Barca from Santos for a fee of 57 million euros ($75 million), played down comparisons with Ronaldinho, who spent five seasons in the Catalan capital and won two La Liga titles and one Champions League crown.
“You cannot compare anyone with Ronaldinho,” Neymar said in an interview with Barca TV broadcast on Wednesday.
“He made history at Barcelona, he made history in the Brazil national team and he continues to make history,” he added.
“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 will line up in a fearsome Barca forward line alongside idol Lionel Messi next season as the club seek a fifth La Liga title in six years and a fifth European crown.
The duo will try to rejuvenate a Barcelona side which was crushed 7-0 on aggregate by eventual winners Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals.
Neymar faced Barca playing for Santos in the final of the 2011 Club World Cup and he said that on that day, when Barcelona crushed the Brazilian side 4-0, he learned to play football.
“What struck me most was the simplicity of Barça’s play,” he told Barça TV.
“The simplicity they were able to impose on every game was sensational,” he added. “Barça left everyone open-mouthed. Not just the Barca fans or the media but even the Santos players.”
Neymar will likely make his Barca debut when they play Lechia Gdansk in the northern Polish port city on July 20 in their opening friendly before the 2013-14 season.