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The gifted forward has been heavily linked with a move to La Liga giants Barcelona after the 2014 World Cup but Santos have not given up hope of holding on to him

Brazil boss Mano Menezes has clarified comments he made suggesting Neymar needs to move to Europe in order to realise his full potential.

The Selecao coach claimed earlier this month that was important for the forward's development, and indeed his standing within the game, for him to prove himself in one of the world's top leagues.

However, Menezes' claim provoked a backlash from the likes of Santos legend Pele, who never moved to Europe during his illustrious playing career, but the Brazil boss believes many have misinterpreted what he was trying to say.

"As I said, in my opinion, for Brazilian football, it is important that he remains," he told Radio Bandeirantes.

"But for one part of his training, to in order discover a different way to play within tighter lines on the field, the kind the Europeans are using, it would be nice for him to spend a year in Europe.

"In a democracy we need to embrace every opinion and I was among the first to talk about Neymar's importance to Brazilian football."

Menezes also rubbished the suggestion that controversy his comments provoked would affect his dealings with Neymar's current employers.

"I have a good relationship with the president of Santos and that will not be changing," the former Corinthians coach pointed out.

"The CBF also has good relationship with the club, so that Santos will provide even more players to the Selecao."

Menezes has been in charge of Brazil's national team since taking over from Dunga in the summer of 2010.


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