Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Messi is my idol, says Neymar

The 21-year-old is delighted to have finally made his bow in Blaugrana colors following his 57 million euro move and says he looks up to his Argentine teammate.

Neymar has revealed he idolizes teammate Lionel Messi and described his debut for Barcelona as a "dream come true."

The Brazil international was handed his highly-anticipated debut for the

Blaugrana with a 15-minute cameo in the 2-2 draw with Lechia Gdansk on Tuesday, replacing Alexis Sanchez in the 78th minute.

And, speaking to reporters after the game, the Selecao starlet admitted the transition from dream to reality had begun after making his bow.

"What was my debut like? My dream is turning into a reality and I'm very happy," he said.

Much has been made over how the 57 million euro youngster's arrival will impact on Messi - who netted his team's second equalizer in the game - but the former Santos forward says he is just happy to share the same dressing room as his "idol".

"Messi is an idol of mine and I am very happy to be with him and playing alongside him. He is a great player and a great person."

The 21-year-old is due to face his former club Santos on Aug. 2 in the Joan Gamper trophy and, though admitting it will be an odd experience to come up against his old teammates so soon after leaving, Neymar insists he will not be holding back on his return.

"It will be a little strange to play against Santos, but now I am with Barcelona and I'll give everything for the shirt," he added.

Neymar is expected to make his competitive debut when Barcelona takes on Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup on Aug. 21.