Former Real Madrid attacker Savio feels Neymar brings back memories of Brazil’s successful past with his “artful style of play” and hopes the Barcelona star can lead them to Olympic glory at Rio 2016.
Barcelona announced on Wednesday that they had reached an agreement with the Brazilian football federation (CBF) that Neymar will sit out the Copa America and feature at the Games instead.
Savio has nothing but praise for the 24-year-old and believes his presence in Rio will prove to be a major boost for Brazil as they chase their first gold in football.
“It is a big dream to win the gold medal. I’m not saying we are favourites, because we all saw playing at home doesn’t mean we will succeed, but Brazil become an even more powerful team with Neymar,” the ex-Brazil international told Omnisport.
“He means a lot to Brazil. He represents a certain artful style of play, a type of football that has always enchanted the world. Neymar has rescued that style. Brazilian football is not going through a favourable spell. When a player like Neymar surfaces, it reminds the Brazilian people of the past. He represents what Brazilian football really means.
“He is still a young player and he will soon realise what it means to play for the national team and to be an idol, how important he is. But the most important thing is that he stands for a certain way of playing.
“There is no doubt his technical quality is his biggest strength. He is a fantastic player, different to everything we have seen before. He has a great ability to improvise on the pitch. He is very fast and very skilful.
“He is a player who still has a lot of room for improvement and he still has to gain more experience in Europe, but there is no doubt about it that he has been fantastic in recent years, in particular at Barcelona.
“He is without a doubt one of the biggest names around in the game now.”
Brazil meet South Africa, Iraq and Denmark in the group stages in Rio.
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