Celta Vigo attacker Nolito claims Barcelona were a better side under Pep Guardiola despite their exceptional start to the season.
Saturday's 2-1 win over Real Madrid moved the Spanish champions to 28 points from just 10 matches in La Liga under Gerardo Martino this season, and although he believes they remain the world's finest side, Nolito believes the current Bayer Munich boss boasted a better team in his time at Camp Nou.
"This Barcelona team does not have the level they had under Guardiola," he told Efe. "But that this standard is very difficult to maintain.
"Barcelona is the best team in the world still. They have a lot of quality players like [Andres] Iniesta, Xavi and [Lionel] Messi who can decide a game at any time."
Neymar struck the opening goal in the Clasico win on Saturday, and Nolito believes the Brazilian adds an impressive new dimension to the Blaugrana attack.
"He is one of the best players in the world and has brought many things to Barcelona that they have not had before," continued Nolito.
"He is a joy to watch. I wish we could have had him on Celta, though that would mean less playing time for me."
Nolito spent three years with Barca prior to his move to Benfica in 2011, and the former Granada loanee is eager to face his old side in Tuesday's encounter.
"The three years there were very good to me and I had been given the opportunity to debut with the first team," the 27-year-old added.