Leo Messi receives praise not just from all over the world, but also from within the dressing room, especially from Neymar. This latest show of admiration from the Brazilian came during a publicity event during which he said " I learn a lot from Messi every day, both on and off the field," both about how to be a good person and how to keep a positive attitude.
When Neymar was asked about Messi’s selfless gesture in the game against Córdoba, in which Messi let Neymar take a late-game penalty kick, the Brazilian was very thankful: "I’ll never forget what he did. Messi is the best in the world and he could have had a hat trick, but he let me take the penalty kick despite being in the middle of a battle for the league’s top goalscorer. I was speechless. I am very grateful to him for his attitude."
I was speechless. I'm so grateful for his attitude.
But that isn’t the only thing that has demonstrated the connection between the two. Their on-field celebrations on the pitch, especially ebullient after Neymar scored the third goal against Bayern Munich, do not lie. Their relationship is real, especially on the pitch where they’ve combined for 86 goals — 33 for Neymar and 53 for Messi.
Think about this: Neymar and Messi have both scored in the same match or aided the other in scoring in six of the least eight games. In the Champions League, Neymar scored three goals against PSG. While it is true that in Barça’s 2–0 win at Camp Nou Messi was not directly involved in Neymar’s two goals, in Paris Messi made the move that allowed Neymar to open the scoring. In Barça’s 3–0 win over Bayern Munich on Wednesday, Messi scored two goals in five minutes and assisted Neymar on Barça’s third goal on a last-minute counterattack.
In La Liga, they each scored in Barça’s 2–2 draw at Sevilla and 2–0 win at Espanyol as well as in the 6–0 home rout of Getafe and the astounding 8–0 shutout win at Córdoba. In both the Getafe and Córdoba wins, Messi netted two while Neymar got one. The one Neymar got in Córdoba came on the penalty kick ceded by Messi.
Neymar also talked about Barça’s big victory in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals against Bayern Munich and the team’s chances of winning titles this season: "It’s been our goal from the beginning of the season and it keeps getting closer. In La Liga, we have a tough game this weekend and we have to fight to the end."
In the Champions League though, Neymar and his team mates do not want to talk about the final in Berlin quite. "We are one step ahead, but we still have 90 minutes where anything can happen. We have to stay very calm and humble, because [playing at Allianz Arena] is very difficult. I don’t know who will be in the final, but we will give everything we have to be there."