Santos youngster Rodrygo says that comparisons made between his talents and those of Neymar are “idiocy” as the forward prepares for life at Real Madrid.
Los Blancos signed the 17-year-old on a six-year deal earlier this year, to take effect from June 2019, tying him to the Champions League holders until 2025.
The teenager has struck up a friendship with Brazilian superstar Neymar following his involvement in the Selecao’s youth set-ups, but ahead of his move to La Liga he has played down talk describing him in the same terms as the Paris Saint-Germain star.
“Neymar is Neymar and Rodrygo is Rodrygo,” he was quoted by AS . “What he does, no one else will do the same.
“People want to compare us and there is no comparison. Neymar is 26 years old and has won everything.
“He won the Copa Libertadores, the Olympic Games, the Champions League. I am in my first year as a professional.
“It is idiocy. He's one of my idols, but we cannot compare.”
Neymar won the Copa Libertadores with Santos, where he started his career like Rodrygo, in 2011 before making the switch to Barcelona.
With the Catalan club, he was a two-time La Liga winner and three-time holder of the Copa del Rey, as well as claiming Champions League and Club World Cup honours in 2015.
On the international stage, he won Silver with the Brazilian men’s Olympic football team in London in 2012 and went one better four years later in his home country to take Gold.
He also won the Confederations Cup in 2013 and was part of the national side that finished fourth on home soil in the 2014 World Cup, though he endured a mixed campaign in Russia this year as Brazil were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Belgium.
Santos struggled this season in the Campeonato Brasileiro, finishing 10th and missing out on qualification to the Copa Libertadores.
They will instead play in the Copa Sudamericana next year.