Football

Scolari: Neymar wouldn't make Barcelona team

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Brazilian national team manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has admitted he is unsure if his star frontman Neymar would make the Barcelona starting 11, saying it is better that he remains at Santos ahead of the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

The Selecao striker has been linked with a move to the Nou Camp for the past 24 months, and Scolari believes the 21-year-old should have left for Catalonia two years ago, in order to establish himself in the Barcelona squad before next year's World Cup.

Scolari told reporters: "Neymar should have gone to Barca two years ago, but now it is better that he stays at Santos.

"How would he adapt? Would he be by himself? Would he start games? Would he play in this star-studded Barcelona team?

"For the World Cup of 2014 and for Brazil, it is preferable that he does not go right now."

Scolari is in his second spell as Brazil coach, having guided the Selecao to a record fifth World Cup at the Japan/South Korea tournament in 2002. He returned to the hot-seat late last year, tasked with building a side - in which Neymar will likely be the star man - capable of reclaiming the trophy on home turf.

The 21-year-old is one of world football's hottest properties, and has been linked with a switch to Real Madrid as well as Barcelona. Since his Santos debut in 2009, he has scored 101 goals in 166 league appearances and has also claimed the Copa Libertadores title.

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