Ex-Brazilian international playmaker Giovanni has urged Neymar to follow in his footsteps and move to Barcelona from Santos.

The retired 39-year-old enjoyed three spells at the Vila Belmiro, joining the club for two seasons in 1994 and spending time with with the Peixe in 2005 and 2010. He retired from football following the final six-month stint.

Once regarded as the 'new Pelé', Giovanni made the big move to La Liga in 1996, and spent three seasons at the Nou Camp under Bobby Robson and then Louis Van Gaal. The first two were extremely successful, and his ability to score important goals made him a favourite with the fans.

It's a period of time Giovanni remembers well, and he's confident his compatriot can enjoy even greater success in Catalonia under the guidance of Pep Guardiola.

"I advise Neymar to come to Spain. The best football for him is the Spanish one. I want him to come to Barca, always Barca," Giovanni told COM Radio.

"Neymar will keep growing, he is a star. He makes brilliant plays, he is very fast and changes direction very quickly. He is like [Lionel] Messi, but you cannot compare the two, because their playing styles are different.

"I am very happy for Guardiola, we had a very good relationship. Guardiola is a symbol of Barca, he was born at the club and he is an institution himself."

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