Neymar: Messi was the one who helped me

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Brazil star Neymar has highlighted the positive influence teammate Lionel Messi had on him following his arrival at the Nou Camp from Santos.

The 24-year-old joined the Blaugrana on a five-year deal in 2013, having helped Santos to three Campeonato Paulista titles along with the Copa do Brasil (2010), Copa Libertadores (2011) and Recopa Sudamericana (2012).

He initially struggled to adapt to life in Spain as investigations into the financial details of his transfer continued to drag on.

However, some words of friendly advice from Messi helped the Brazil star to overcome his early struggles.

"I have a nice story about Messi," Neymar told CNN. "Soon after I arrived, it was not a great moment in my career and he was the one who helped me.

"He saw that I was sad, with my head down, that things were not going right for me.

"He told me to keep going, to be happy and to play the way I know. He told me this and he helped me a lot at that moment in time.

"He is a person who I admire a lot."

Neymar also commented on his partnership with Messi and Luis Suarez, which he feels has been helped by their friendship off the pitch.

He added: "I think it is about the care, respect, friendship and happiness that we have for being together.

"Training together every day, helping one another on the pitch, we are making history and I hope it can continue for many more years.

"We have a great friendship. The only difference is three footballers, three star footballers in their respective countries, are here together at Barcelona.

"It is difficult for this to happen … three South Americans. It is something that we have changed."