Neymar, before stepping foot on the grass at Camp Nou, already knew what he had to do when he arrived. In fact, before the Club World Cup final, when Santos played Barcelona, he spoke and his words gave some clue about that.
His praise of Messi and Barcelona’s football suggested he started adapting to the club’s ecosystem in advance. If it took so little time for him to fit in, that’s because he was preparing long before he put the shirt on.
In an interview with beIN Sports he explained that he studied the football at Barcelona before he signed.
“I already knew how Barcelona played, I’ve always loved their form of doing it and their players,” he said.
And of course, among their players is the greatest.
“Leo is a crack and for me, the best,” said Neymar, before saying he had to adapt to the Argentine, because at Santos he was the team’s leader, who had the most of the ball.
“I have adapted to his play. When he’s there, he’s the player that has the most touches of the ball in the team.”
From there, his function is “together with Luis Suarez, to make the movements to make chances”.
That doesn’t mean he feels limited in his game, because he’s smart enough to understand that they win together.
And that Barcelona have the best attacking trident in the world, even if he doesn’t want to define it like that.
“I don’t know if we are the best forwards, but we’re playing well and we have a good friendship off the pitch too. I think this helps a lot,” he said.
“I hope to be able to enjoy this attack for many years in good form.”
This is his third season with Barcelona and he’s in his best moment, at a footballing and personal level. He said that he feels: “Like I’m at home, yes.
“My first year was to learn, to get to know everything. The second was better and now I feel very much more like I’m at home.”
He’s not afraid of saying that “I’m in a great year, from last season I’m playing in my way, how I played before, and I’m very happy for that.”
One of his best memories is his goal against Real Madrid. “It’s a game that I always dreamed of playing and in the first one I scored. All my family and friends were there, very happy and freaking out.”
He says those type of games don’t cause him trouble. “I don’t feel much pressure in that atmosphere because I’m used to it. I played in clasicos in Brazil with Santos and everything happened – now I live more calmly!”