Barcelona veteran Xavi says Neymar can inspire the club to a new generation of success.
The 33-year-old midfielder has begun his 15th season in the Blaugrana’s first-team, during which time he has won an incredible 21 different titles.
But Xavi is not content to settle on that figure, and believes new recruit Neymar is the man to lead Barca to more glory.
“He’s a player who can really make a difference.” Xavi told the club's official website. “He’s a quiet guy, he’s only young, but he shows a lot of intelligence. The boss is bringing him in slowly, and he’s showing his worth."
The 57 million euro signing from Santos has had to settle for a place on the substitute’s bench during the early stages of the campaign, but delivered a devastating cameo in the first leg of the Supercopa de Espana against Atletico Madrid.
Trailing 1-0 to a David Villa goal - and with Lionel Messi taken off injured - Neymar was summoned from the sidelines to grab a vital equalizer and square the game at 1-1 ahead of the return leg at the Camp Nou.
It was the 21-year-old superstar’s first competitive goal for Barcelona, and Xavi says that was only the beginning of many great things.
“At the Calderon he gave us an extra spark and he’s very good in one on one situations which is important for us. When teams close us down, we need wide men who can take men on and he’s a player who is able to really make a difference.
“He can get in the box, he can score and he is set to really make a difference at Barca.”
With Messi sidelined for the visit of Atletico, Neymar may well be given the nod to lead the line but Xavi believes that any success Barca do have will be down to the strength of the squad as a whole.
“At this club you are always expected to win and I think we have a team that can do that," he insisted. “We’ve been through some tough times with Tito falling ill again and we have all had to adapt, but I think the team is fine now.
“We’ve started the season really well, with a spectacular debut at the Camp Nou and I think we can compete for the Copa del Rey, La Liga and the Champions League.”
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