Martino: Neymar offers Messi-like versatility

The Barcelona coach also praised Alexis Sanchez and Cristian Tello for stepping up in the Argentine's absence, as the Blaugrana strolled to victory at Camp Nou.
Gerardo Martino saluted Neymar as showing versatility similar to Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi following the team's 4-1 triumph over Valladolid.

The Argentina international missed the match due to injury but his fellow South American slotted into the No. 10's role seamlessly. And it was the Brazilian prodigy's impact, in conjunction with Alexis Sanchez's and Christian Tello's form, that had Martino enthused after the game.

"[Neymar] is a player that, like Messi, no matter whether he plays, left, right or center, [he] always plays well," the Bareclona coach told reporters. "Neymar dominates every facet of the game and keeps striving to improve. In two months, he has integrated into our system. It is very difficult to find such players of his age.

"Alexis knows the opinion I have of him as a player. I had said I wanted to see the Sanchez that played for Marcelo Bielsa's Chile. He played an excellent game today.

"Tello played fine. He created various situations for us and made a decisive goal for us. It isn't easy for him as he's played less minutes."

Martino is the first coach in the history of La Liga to win his opening eight matches, but he was more satisfied with the way in which his side responded to falling behind early on.

"In the first part of the game we lacked intensity, but I liked the second half my team put on. We had control of the game," the 50-year-old concluded. "I always had the feeling we were in charge. We only have to improve on the first 20 minutes."