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Messi is my idol – Neymar

Neymar says former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi is his “idol” and has described Cristiano Ronaldo as a footballing “monster”.

The Brazil forward spent four years playing alongside Messi at the Nou Camp, with the pair forming two-thirds of the ‘MSN’ partnership along with Luis Suarez which helped Barcelona win two La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey crowns and a Champions League during his time at the club.

Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain for £198m in 2017, also faced Ronaldo on many occasions during his time in Spain and, in a conversation with basketball great Steph Curry for The Players’ Tribune, praised the pair and said he is always looking to learn from them.

“Facing Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – and I played with Messi, who is, for me, one of the greatest footballers of all time, and he is my idol in football,” Neymar said.

“With Messi, I learned every day, whether during our practice, or playing with him, or just watching him play. And that made me stronger and it increased my capacity on the field because I kept learning a lot from him.

“As for Cristiano Ronaldo, he is a monster. Facing him is a pleasure and an honour, but we have to be more prepared. He is one of the greatest in football so you get smarter, you get alert, but at the same time you learn a lot, too.

“So, they are two of the big guys that I can relate to, because I want to learn, I want more, I want to win, I want more trophies, score more goals … so I keep learning from them every day.”

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