Lionel Messi wishes he could have played alongside Neymar for longer at Barcelona but is loving being reunited with the Brazilian again at Paris Saint-Germain.
Neymar and Messi struck up a friendship and immense on-field relationship during their four years together at Camp Nou.
They were part of a Barca team that won two LaLiga titles, three Copa del Rey crowns and the Champions League, among other trophies, before PSG broke the world transfer record to bring Neymar to Paris for €222 million ($215 million).
Despite such a cash injection, Barca’s financial issues eventually caught up with them and prevented the club from signing Messi to a new contract last year as their LaLiga salary limit was reduced significantly.
Messi followed Neymar to Paris, and while few would consider either to have enjoyed their best seasons last term, both have begun the 2022-23 campaign in electric fashion under Christophe Galtier.
Neymar’s 19 goal involvements across all competitions is more than anyone in the top five leagues, while Messi‘s 14 has him ranked third, and the latter is relishing every minute.
“With Neymar, we have known each other for a long time, by heart, since Barcelona,” he told TUDN.
“I would’ve like to have been able to enjoy him much more in Barcelona.
“But now I meet him again in Paris and we are happy to be together. I love playing with him.”
Of course, Neymar is not the only superstar Messi is playing alongside at PSG.
Kylian Mbappe renewed his stay at PSG at the end of last season after flirting with Real Madrid, and Messi has no doubt the France star will be a leader of the next generation in the sport.
“Kylian, he’s a different player,” Messi added.
“He is a beast who is very strong, goes from space to space. He’s fast, scores a lot of goals, is very complete and has been proving himself for years.
“In the coming years, he will be among the best, for sure.”