Pele tells Neymar to pick Barcelona over Manchester City... and stop worrying about his hair

Brazil legend takes swipe at young striker

Three-time World Cup winner Pele has urged Neymar to snub any advances from Manchester City and join Barcelona instead.

Brazil's current leading player is expected to leave Santos following the 2014 World Cup, and has been linked with a host of clubs in Europe.

Reports this week have suggested Manchester City will lead the way, and are prepared to pay £55m to acquire the services of the 21-year-old.

However, Pele has told Neymar that the English game would not suit him, and a move to Barcelona in Spain would be a better destination.

"The game is tougher in England, Italy and Germany because the referees usually let play go on. Barcelona would be ideal for him," said Pele.

"Santos need him and for that reason I don't think he should leave but if he must go it should be to Barcelona."

Neymar was a major disappointment when Brazil played England in a friendly at Wembley earlier this month, leading some to question whether he is worthy of all the hype, especially considering he has only every played for one club. Pele is concerned by the amount of attention Neymar receives.

"He is an excellent player but he doesn't have any experience outside Brazil. In every game he plays outside Brazil, he doesn't do well. Everybody thinks Neymar can solve the national team's problems, but he isn't ready for that burden.

"We have a great deal of confidence in him but he has become a regular player for the national team."

Despite doubts over Neymar's elevation to the role of Brazil's saviour, Pele believes the Santos striker has the potential to be among the world's best. However, the Brazil legend took a swipe at Neymar's off-field antics in a clear warning that the youngster must focus on his football if he is to achieve greatness.

"We think that he is the best in the world, but he is more concerned about appearing in the media than playing for the team," Pele said.

"Neymar has a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders. Right now his major concerns are fashion and his haircut."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project