Alba sympthasises with Neymar over Copa treatment

Jordi Alba has defended Barcelona team-mate Neymar following his four-match Copa America ban.

Barcelona full-back Jordi Alba says he too would be wound up were he subjected to the same treatment as team-mate Neymar at the Copa America.

The Brazil captain was banned for four games, ruling him out of the remainder of the tournament, following a post-match melee in which he clashed with Colombian opponents Pablo Armero and Jeison Murillo.

Neymar had been well shackled by the Colombia back line during Brazil's 1-0 defeat, with Alba among those to suggest that Neymar is often an easy target.

"I think it's unfair but I don't make the rules," Alba said of the ban.

"It's very clear that he's one of those players people look to wind up. I'd lose my rag quicker than him, that's for sure. Neymar is really patient. He already puts up with a lot.

"I don't think he's being persecuted, but he's an important player for Brazil and Barca and that's why people try and wind him up.

"He plays the type of football that everyone wishes they could, but can't, starting with me."

Neymar will likely watch the remainder of the Copa from the stands, having played such a crucial role in helping Barcelona to the treble last season. 

Alba was also quizzed on the new contract signed by coach Luis Enrique, which keeps the Barca boss at Camp Nou until 2017.

"Luis Enrique's new deal is the best possible news we could have received," Alba added.

"He's completely changed the dressing room. The atmosphere couldn't have been better. The gaffer is our best signing."