Luis Enrique hailed the “unique” talent of Neymar after the Brazilian produced a moment of jaw-dropping brilliance to score Barcelona’s third goal in their 3-0 win over Villarreal.
Neymar has been in stunning form of late, as he and Luis Suarez shoulder the responsibility of inspiring Barca in the absence of the injured Lionel Messi.
The South American duo were at it again on Sunday, as they broke Villarreal’s stubborn resistance at Camp Nou by sharing three goals in the final half an hour of the Liga match.
Neymar’s brace came either side of Suarez’s penalty, with the 23-year-old Brazilian’s second goal the pick of the bunch.
Suarez picked his team-mate out with a low pass from the left, and Neymar deftly lifted the ball over the head of Jaume Costa while pirouetting away from the bamboozled Villarreal defender before volleying beyond Alphonse Areola from the edge of the area.
But the outrageous piece of skill came as no surprise to Barca coach Luis Enrique, who said after the game: “We are talking about a unique player, special. We have to look at his work.”
Barca’s win lifts them three points clear of Real Madrid ahead of the capital city club’s trip to Sevilla later on Sunday, and Luis Enrique added: “That the team is growing and improving in key aspects of the game is obvious.”
Neymar, meanwhile, was typically cool when asked about his goal-of-the-season contender.
“I thought about the move in advance and it came off,” he said.
Neymar added: “We played really well, we created a lot of chances throughout the game.
“The whole team played well. We have to carry on like this. We played well against Villarreal, who are a great team.
“I’m happy with my contribution to the team but I think I can improve even more. Together with my team-mates, we have to keep growing.
“We have a break from the league now to think about the Clasico, but we also have to play well for our national teams.”