The experienced midfielder does not think the Brazilian is guilty of simulation and believes he is not indispensable for Barca.Barcelona playmaker Xavi has defended teammate Neymar against recent criticism that he goes to the ground too easily and engages in play acting.
The Brazil international has been criticized for his alleged tendency to exaggerate tackles and injuries, but Xavi feels his Blaugrana teammate does not deserve the harsh treatment he's been receiving since his summer switch from Santos.
"All the focus is on Neymar, but he is not play acting or diving," Xavi told RAC1. "These accusations happen because we have a lot of rivals. The people in Madrid are looking for things they don't like and then try to put a certain label on a player.
"Neymar has the skills to be a big star, if he's not one already at this stage. We're lucky to have him."
The midfielder, 33, then went on to discuss his future at Barcelona and added that the Catalans will continue to do well without him once he hangs up his boots.
"Barcelona will keep on winning and playing well without me. Nobody is indispensable," the World Cup winner said. "Barca should not be looking for a direct replacement for me as that would only put extra pressure on the guy taking my place."
Xavi has a contract with Barcelona for two more seasons after the 2013-14 campaign.