Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Lionel Messi has been talking and specifically about Neymar and how his departure has affected Barcelona.   Lionel Messi has been talking and specifically about Neymar and how his departure has affected Barcelona.When the Brazilian left Camp Nou in the summer many feared the worst, but Barca have gone on to have a superb season without him. The team are clear at the top of the Liga table, yet to taste defeat, and still in contention in both the Copa del Rey and the Champions League. Barca’s results have prompted the question of whether Barcelona have missed Neymar at all, so here’s what Messi’s made of it all. Is it possible that the loss of Neymar actually helped Barcelona improve? Lionel Messi seems to think so. Barca lost Neymar in the off-season after French giants Paris Saint-Germain sensationally activated his €222million release clause in August. Neymar was a key member of Barca’s famed ‘MSN’ forward trio, alongside Messi and Luis Suarez, helping the club to two La Liga titles and the Champions League among other honours. But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner said Barca – unbeaten and 11 points clear atop the table – are better without the Brazil star. “Without Neymar we are more balanced,” Messi told World Soccer . “His departure meant a change in our way of playing, we lost a lot of attacking potential, but it helped in the defensive sense. “We are currently very well armed in the midfield; this makes us stronger in defence.” Barca are also preparing for the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will meet Chelsea for a spot in the quarter-finals. However, Messi believes another English side – former Barca boss Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City – are the team to watch, along with Neymar’s PSG.”However, there’s a lot of football still to play and I don’t rule out Real Madrid yet as they have a lot of quality and experience. Then there’s Bayern Munich, another great team who will fight till the end. But right now, City and PSG are the best.” Barcelona face a match in La Liga against Alaves on Sunday and continue their busy schedule with a Copa del Rey semi-final first leg against Valencia on Thursday.]]>

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