Martino: Neymar is one of the world's top five players

The Blaugrana boss has rejected the notion that the Brazilian has something to prove in Sunday's Clasico despite him coming in for criticism for his recent performances
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino believes that Neymar is one of the top five players in world football.

The Brazilian scored a decisive goal in the first Clasico of the Liga season back in October but has endured mixed fortunes in 2014 due to injury and an ongoing legal investigation into his transfer to the Camp Nou from Santos last summer.

Martino, however, has stressed that the 22-year-old does not have anything to prove ahead of Sunday's crucial league clash with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"Neymar had a very good game against Manchester City [in the last 16 of the Champions League]," the Argentine told reporters on Saturday.

"I will repeat something I said: Neymar is one of the five best players in the world. I don't need any middle party to confirm his qualities."

Martino is also confident that Neymar's fellow forward, Lionel Messi, will also underline his class with a stellar performance in a game from which third-placed Barca desperately need all three points.

"A draw is not good, what we have to do is win," the Blaugrana boss conceded. "After the defeat to [Real] Valladolid we reversed the image of the team - now Leo and the rest are in the same vein.

"We're looking forward to it. Not just Leo, but everyone is going to do everything possible to shorten the gap [in the table]. We expect Messi to have a good game."