Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas says he is reminded of club icon Johan Cruyff when he watches teammate Neymar in action.
The Brazil international, currently sidelined with an ankle injury, has enjoyed a positive start to his career with the Spanish champions, notching 11 goals and 10 assists in 26 appearances to date.
The former Santos attacker has been predominantly deployed in wide positions under Gerardo Martino in order to maximize the impact of his pace and dribbling ability, and Fabregas says he sees something of a certain Netherlands and Barcelona legend in the way in which Neymar moves on the ball.
"He reminds me of Cruyff. I never got to see him play live, but Cruyff had an incredible change of rhythm, like him [Neymar]," Fabregas told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "He starts fast, slows down suddenly, then starts again with a lot of speed. I also remember him having the same speed when driving [forward]."
Barcelona was held to a 1-1 draw at Levante over the weekend, allowing third-placed Real Madrid to draw to within a single point of Barca and co-leaders Atletico, but Fabregas insists any criticism of Blaugrana boss Martino is unjust.
"Fans have little patience," said the former Arsenal captain. "They want Barca to be as they were under [former coach Pep] Guardiola, when this is practically impossible. Firstly, because we don't have players of the physicality of [Eric] Abidal, [Samuel] Eto'o or [Yaya] Toure. Also, Tata Martino has just arrived and a new coach always needs time to adapt."
Finally, Fabregas gave his backing to new AC Milan boss Clarence Seedorf, who enjoyed a winning start against Verona on Sunday.
"I see him as a coach who's ready, intelligent. I'm sure he'll do well," he said.
- Sports & Recreation
- Johan Cruyff
- Gerardo Martino