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Wed, 16 Oct 2013 12:45:00 GMT

Xavi jumps to Neymar’s defence

Barcelona midfielder Xavi believes that Neymar has been unnecessarily criticised and that he is a vital player for the side.

Xavi jumps to Neymar’s defence

The Brazilian has often been under the scanner for his tendency of going to ground easily since his move to the Spanish side.

"All the focus is on Neymar, but he is not play-acting or diving," Xavi told RAC1. "These accusations happen because we have a lot of rivals.

"The people in Madrid are looking for things they don't like and then try to put a certain label on a player.

"Neymar has the skills to be a big star, if he's not one already at this stage. We're lucky to have him."

Xavi, who has a contract for another two seasons, also said that Barcelona would do just fine without him.

"Barcelona will keep on winning and playing well without me. Nobody is indispensable," he said.

"Barca should not be looking for a direct replacement for me as that would only put extra pressure on the guy taking my place."

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