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Mascherano, Iniesta and Adriano are three teammates who maintain special relationships with FC Barcelona's strikeforce beyond the field of play.
Mascherano on Messi
"I will never forget the day I arrived at Barcelona to sign with the club. When I reached the parking lot of the stadium from the airport, I met Leo who had been waiting for me. He had trained at Ciutat Esportiva in the morning and upon finishing had left quickly to meet me at Camp Nou. This gesture perfectly sums up Leo as a person. His immense quality as a footballer often leaves no time to recognize what a good person he is. He is a very family-oriented guy, humble, simple and generous.”
“We have known each other since 2005 when we met on international duty for Argentina. The manager, Pekerman, called me up despite being injured while Messi was only just getting his first experiences in the squad. It was in a friendly in Switzerland against England. Since then we have lived so many experiences together with both club and country, but I especially remember the chat we had in our hotel room just before the World Cup final in Brazil, when we did a review of what had led the way up there.”
Iniesta: "Luis Suárez is a very loving guy"
“Me and Luis have known each other for some time because we both have a professional relationship with Pere Guardiola, long before it was mentioned that he could join Barcelona. In fact, we had been talking for almost a year and a half taking via WhatsApp before meeting for the first time in a friendly match between Spain and Uruguay in Qatar.
“It was not easy for him at Barcelona in the beginning when he could not even train with the team due to the suspension. When he was able to get going, he adapted very quickly because, as well as me, he also knew other players like Mascherano and Leo (Messi). Luis is a very loving guy, always smiling and adds a good vibe to the changing room. He is a great teammate who has been in many countries and has had many friends.
Adriano: "Neymar can reach the very top"
“I was still at Sevilla and I was told about a guy at Santos who was, as they say in Brazil, a ‘prodigal son’. Soon after, images of him started to come out in those shirts that were far too big. In the 2011 Copa America we knew each other personally and from then he was earmarked for a big club in Europe.
“In Brazil we are 200 million people and 10 per cent want to be footballers. Apart from having immense talent, he received basic education and values at home from both his mother and father. You could see from a young age that he stood out for all of this as well as his charisma.
“He can become anything he wants. He has no limits, each year he gets better. He has spectacular teammates by his side who push and assist him to improve. If he continues in this way, he will be one of Brazil’s great like Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho or Kaka - players who have won the Ballon d’Or, and he will certainly win it too. He is on a very good path.”
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