Thursday, 7th February, 2013
Joey Barton has labelled the Brazilian top flight the "amazon jungle league" and challenged Neymar to move over to Europe, as the midfielder’s blast at the 21-year-old sensation continues.
Neymar turned out for Brazil yesterday in the country’s friendly against England, a match the Selecao lost 2-1.
Having watched the 21-year-old in action, Barton declared the Santos striker to be overrated and not worth anywhere near the sums which have been speculated as being needed to sign him.
Neymar, when asked about Barton’s comments, admitted he does not know who the English midfielder is.
Barton though has taken to defending his comments and even lashed out at Neymar for refusing to leave his homeland of Brazil for Europe just yet; Neymar has consistently stated he wishes to see out a contract which expires in 2014 with Santos.
"I’ll introduce myself to him if he ever decides to leave the sanctuary of the amazon jungle league…", Barton wrote on his Twitter account.
And the 30-year-old, who is on loan with French side Marseille from QPR, claimed that the fact Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling kept Neymar quiet has shown he is overrated.
"Neymar was playing after all against Cahill and Smalling, no disrespect to them but their [sic] not exactly [Franco] Baresi and [Franz] Beckenbauer and he never got a kick. I just refuse to believe the hype."
When Neymar does move to Europe, he may be unlikely to meet up with Barton on the pitch though, with Spain’s La Liga and Barcelona strongly tipped to be his destination, rather than Ligue 1.
Barton meanwhile is not yet certain to remain with Marseille for next season and could yet see himself back at QPR for the 2013/14 campaign.
Beat the bookie with Inside Bet! Free bets, tips, the best markets. Check out Inside Bet now.