Neymar: I’ve fallen completely in love with Messi

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The 23-year-old Barcelona forward views his team-mate and fellow Ballon d’Or finalist as an idol and also spoke highly of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo….

Neymar has hailed Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi, insisting that he fell “completely in love” with the Argentine after joining the club from Santos in 2013.

The Barca duo are Ballon d’Or finalists, alongside Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, and were both in sensational form throughout 2015 as they helped Barca claim five trophies over the calendar year.

Speaking at the Ballon d’Or award ceremony in Zurich, Neymar told reporters: “I fell completely in love [with Messi]. He has really become an idol.

“I think they are absolutely the best, that’s why they’re here. I think they’ve made history. Both Lionel and Cristiano.

“I’m pleased with the things I have achieved and the goals I have scored. I thank my team-mates for that. Each player has his own aims. We have to be ourselves.”

When asked if Brazil forward Neymar would be his eventual successor, Messi responded: “Neymar isn’t the successor of anyone, just like I wasn’t. He is who he is and he has everything to be whatever he wants to be.

“It depends on him because he has the conditions. He is an extraordinary player and a great person and that makes us even better.”

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