Barcelona defender backs Neymar

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Barcelona defender Adriano has backed star teammate Neymar to cope with the physical attention that he will undoubtedly receive from opposing players this season.

Neymar is a new signing for the Catalan giants, having arrived from Brazilian outfit Santos in June for a deal believed to be worth in the region of €57 million. He is yet to notch a goal in La Liga for his new side, but has featured in all three games of the campaign so far.

And while the 21-year-old's ability is certainly not in doubt, one of the big question marks following Neymar's high-profile switch was just whether or not he would be able to cope sufficiently with the physicality commonly associated with European football.

But despite those questions, Adriano, who arrived at the Camp Nou from domestic rivals Sevilla in July 2010, believes his compatriot is fully capable of dealing with any harsh treatment from defenders.

" He's used to being played hard," Adriano told and was subsequently quoted by Sky Sports. "In Brazil he received plenty of kicks and continued to play as you know."

Barcelona have enjoyed a strong start to life under new boss Gerardo Martino, topping La Liga on goal difference after three consecutive wins over Levante - against whom they notched seven goals - Malaga and Valencia.

Blaugrana, who won the League with ease last season after finishing a comfortable 15 points ahead of fierce rivals Real Madrid, are back in action on Saturday evening at home to Adriano's former club, Sevilla. 

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