Barcelona news

Cruyff: The jury is still out on Neymar

May 29, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff is not sure if the club made the right decision to sign Neymar and says only time will tell if the Brazil starlet will make the grade at Camp Nou.

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Barca announced on Saturday that their long pursuit of the Brazilian starlet had ended successfully, with the transfer in total worth an estimated €80 million to various stakeholders including his former club Santos, the player himself, his father, and a number of third-party investment funds.

Cruyff, who starred as a player at Camp Nou before going on to lead the club to the Champions League title in 1992, told Catalunya Radio that he assumed the young Brazilian was a talented player but wondered if he was really what Barca needed.

"We must wait and see how he goes," Cruyff said. "Is he necessary? You could agree or not. We are not talking about his footballing quality, I have not seen him, but if they talk about him like this it is because he is a good player.

"But creating a team is different than signing a player. Last Saturday [in the Champions League final] the German teams showed they have that mentality, that the team is an important thing."

Cruyff, a regular critic of current Barca president Sandro Rosell, questioned whether the right people were currently making transfer decisions at the Camp Nou.

"Ninety-nine percent of board members must not be involved in signings as they have no idea," he said. "Those who know what they are doing must make the transfers. Just having lots of money does mean you win the European Cup. Money is always secondary, first comes football quality and intelligence."

The Dutchman, who had double heart bypass surgery in 1991 while he was Barca boss, also cast doubt on whether Tito Vilanova should continue as the top man at the Camp Nou next season following his battle against cancer this term.

"To get your strength back, it is not very advisable to continue [as coach]," he said. "I also had a heart operation. Can you manage Barca not being 100%? The first thing I would say to Tito is to take care of himself. He does not have the same strength or experience as [predecessor Pep] Guardiola".

Asked if he Barca should have brought in a new coach when Tito was in New York receiving medical treatment, Cruyff suggested he would have done so, adding: "Sometimes you must take decisions, even though they are really really difficult."