‘He saw I was sad’ – Neymar reveals how Lionel Messi helped him at Barcelona

It can be hard for footballers to settle when switching clubs, and often with it countries, cultures, homes and languages, all away from family.

Neymar has revealed how difficult he initially found things after moving from Santos to Barcelona in a £70 million deal in the summer of 2013, crediting Lionel Messi in a big way in the process.

The 24-year-old swapped Brazil for Spain and told CNN in an interview that Messi went above and beyond to ensure that he was able to settle and come through a “sad” period early on.

“Soon after I arrived, it wasn’t a great moment in my career and he (Messi) was the one who helped me.

“He saw that I was sad, with my head down, that things weren’t going right for me. He told me to keep going, to be happy and to play the way I know.

“He’s a person who I admire a lot. He told me this and he helped me a lot at that moment in time.

‘I think it’s about the care, respect, friendship and happiness that we have for being together.”
Fans loved hearing what a kind and thoughtful man Messi is behind the scenes, and indeed the bond forged between two of Barcelona’s biggest stars.

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