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Felipe Anderson considers Neymar to be 'a joker' not a diver and West Ham the right club for him

6:10 PM GMT+4 21/02/2019
Neymar PSG Paris Saint-Germain 2018-19
The Hammers' Brazilian midfielder is enjoying his time in England and claims an iconic countryman is not the dramatic egotist some consider him to be

Felipe Anderson claims fellow Brazilian Neymar is “a joker” wrongly portrayed as a theatrical diver and is delighted with his own decision to join West Ham in the summer of 2018.

A global superstar currently on the books of Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain has established a reputation for going to ground too easily, alongside that of being one of the finest players on the planet.

Anderson believes such an opinion is unfair, with Neymar one of the most colourful and laid back characters he knows.

The Hammers midfielder told BBC Sport: "Neymar is a such a joker. He is always making people laugh. He loves his music and he loves winding people up. He has always been like that and he is not going to change.

"If we are somewhere and there is no pitch, he will get on a table and encourage us to play a table-tennis style game with a football, two-on-two. He loves laughing and messing about."

Anderson will be hoping that he gets the opportunity to join in with more fun alongside Neymar in the near future, having been restricted to just one senior appearance for Brazil to date.

He now has a Premier League stage on which to shine, with West Ham having snapped him up from Lazio for a club-record £33.5 million ($44m).

The 25-year-old had flourished in Italy, taking in 177 appearances and scoring 34 times during his time in Rome, but admits he had always hoped to get the chance to test himself in England.

Quizzed on whether he is well suited to life in the Premier League, Anderson said: “I have always enjoyed dribbling. That has been a key part of my game and you do get quite a lot of space in England.

“But the game is very intense and it is difficult to keep it up for the 90 minutes. Every game is end to end, with attack after attack. I am still adapting to that side of the game and I need to get stronger.”

Anderson has already recorded nine goals and three assists for West Ham this season and feels he has adjusted quickly to demands of his new surroundings at the London Stadium.

“The Premier League is the best league in the world, and it is very well regarded if you get a chance to play in it,” he said.

“I was very motivated from day one to repay the belief the club has shown in me. I have worked very hard to settle in quickly and am enjoying being part of the team, being in the city and taking part in such a project.”