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Real target Neymar hails Spanish rivals Barca

Gifted Brazilian teenager Neymar's reported December move from Santos to Real Madrid appeared in doubt Tuesday after he praised their Spanish league rivals Barcelona and insisted he is not ready to join either club

AFP, Tuesday 9 Aug 2011
Neymar
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"Neither Madrid nor Barcelona interest me right now," he told Spanish sports papers in Germany on Monday when asked about his reported transfer to Madrid.

"I said all I had to say and everyone knows it."

Spanish sports daily Marca reported Sunday that Real Madrid had reached a preliminary deal with Santos to sign the 19-year-old striker in December, after the World Club Cup in Japan.

It said the deal would be announced this week, and Neymar would arrive in Madrid on December 20.

In an interview released Tuesday on the website of football's world governing body FIFA, Neymar also declared Barcelona as "the best team in the world and they've got the world's best player in their side."

If Santos meet the Spanish and European champions in the World Club Cup it will be "a very tough task".

Neymar added: "I don't think there's any particular tactics you can use. We'll just have to pray, ask for God's help and give it our best shot."

Another sports daily, AS, said Tuesday his "praise of Barcelona has caused concern in Madrid".

Neymar, fresh from winning the Copa Libertadores with Santos, has been linked for months to a move to Real Madrid or English Premier League side Chelsea.

His current deal with Santos is worth almost two million dollars a season through to 2015.

The World Club Cup is scheduled for December 8-18 in Japan.

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