Marcelo: Neymar won't be my friend

The Brazil international says he will treat his compatriot like any other opponent when they go head-to-head in La Liga this season

By Ashish Sharma

They may play alongside one another for Brazil, but Real Madrid defender Marcelo says Neymar will not be his friend when he lines up against him for Barcelona.

The pair both appeared for Brazil in their surprise 1-0 defeat to Switzerland on Wednesday night and after the game Marcelo told Goal he will be treating Barca’s €54 million signing like any other opponent.

He said: “That is normal. I already have that with Dani Alves. And then we are back to normal after the game. It will be the same with Neymar. He is a great  friend of mine but that won’t be the case when he lines up against Real Madrid.”

Los Blancos continue to be linked with a marquee signing of their own, with the club reportedly desperate to secure the services of Tottenham winger Gareth Bale.

However, with a transfer fee in the region of €100 million being quoted by some sections of the media, Madrid face being priced out of a move for the 24-year-old.

And Marcelo gave little away when asked if he would like to see the Wales international arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“We only talk about players who are already at Real Madrid. He is still not here so for us there is no point in talking about anyone else.” the Brazilian added.

“It’s the president who has to like the player. The president and the coach are the ones. I don’t make the decisions.“

The 25-year-old then promised that Brazil would bounce back in their next round of friendlies in September after their surprise loss at St Jakob Park.

“Many of our players are still in pre-season. I think most of the Swiss players came back before and it showed.

“We know that at this level we always have to work hard and to keep fighting. I am sure by the time Brazil plays again in September our fitness will be back.”

A succession of injuries restricted Marcelo to just 23 appearances for club and country in 2012-13, but he was part of the Brazil side that lifted the Confederations Cup earlier this summer.

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