Neymar is at Barcelona because of Leo Messi, says father
Neymar may be the next big thing in world football - the Brazilian megastar is still only 24 – but the Barcelona man is well grounded, and like most of us, is in awe of Lionel Messi.
According to his father, the Argentine is the reason Neymar is at Barcelona, as he is the Brazilian captain's “idol”.
Neymar recently signed a contract extension that is slated to keep him at the Camp Nou till 2021 – and his father reveals that it is the joy of playing alongside his hero that prompted the decision.
"We all know who Messi is and what he means. He is the idol of my son and for him is a pleasure being at his side," said Neymar Sr.
"He is always happy for playing together and he is playing here for Messi.
It's not just his father's words too – that could well be mistaken for regular PR talk. He looks happy – ever since he joined Barcelona in the summer of 2013 from Santos. He immediately forged a wonderful partnership with the Barcelona no. 10, and a year later welcomed the introduction of Luis Suarez. The famed trio, dubbed MSN have wreaked havoc across Spain and Europe, and have transformed into arguably the greatest strikeforce ever assembled.
Neymar Sr.'s words merely add weight to the argument that MSN works so well because they are so happy playing alongside each other. Sometimes the sheer joy of playing beautiful football can bury such mundane things as ego in a heap – and it's a wonderful thing to watch.
The Barca no. 11's father also shed light on his son's inspiration. For most of us, it's one superstar that generally attracts us to the game and it wasn't much different for Neymar -
"If Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo never existed probably Neymar never existed too; the same with Pele and Maradona, both inspired a lot of players."
There is no doubting that Messi and Ronaldo are indeed the Pele and Maradona of this age – rising above everyone else and inspiring millions across the globe.
Also, Read – Rafinha says Barcelona might stop celebrating goals
The question on everybody's lips these days is who will win the Balon d'Or and with his son included in the 30-man shortlist, it was only natural that Neymar Sr. Was asked the question as to who will walk away with football's most prestigious individual honour
His answer was categorical - “Messi deserves the Balon d'Or”
Here's one man who hasn't been blinded by loyalty to his son!