The two strikers have become friends after praising each other through the media, via Twitter and then chatting around last night’s Confederations Cup game between Brazil and Italy.
“We were talking about the heat,” Neymar told journalists after Brazil won 4-2 in Salvador.
“He told me it was too hot and he wasn’t accustomed to this sort of environment, so I told him he’d better start getting used to the heat.
“He is a good lad and a great player who caused us a lot of problems in defence, but I am happy with what my team-mates were able to do in order to stop him scoring.”
At the final whistle Neymar swapped shirts with Stephan El Shaarawy, but reports state he exchanged another jersey with Balotelli in the locker room.
Neymar was voted man of the match after scoring with a sensational free kick.
“I’m really happy with the performance and the goal, but I wouldn’t have been man of the match without the help of my team-mates.
“We had a lot of players who wanted to take that free-kick, so I asked them to let me concentrate. I had already seen the goalkeeper’s position and was able to curl it well.”
Read the original article on Football Italia - The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Italian football
- Sports & Recreation
- Stephan El Shaarawy