Neymar insists he's no threat to Messi

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When Neymar joined Barcelona for little under £50 million, you'd be forgiven for wondering whether Lionel Messi's status as the club's main man was under genuine threat.

But Neymar has moved to distance himself from such conspiracies, insisting that Messi remains the top dog with the Catalan giants and that he can help the Argentinian.

"My relationship with Messi is great," Neymar told reporters. "I'm sure that there'll be no problems. He is the leader, the best player in the world, and I am here to help him."

Messi, a four-time Ballon d'Or winner, has enjoyed unrivalled success since breaking through at the Nou Camp, with only Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo coming close to replicating his exploits in La Liga.

And as Neymar prepares to make his home debut against former club Santos tomorrow night, the Brazilian star has admitted that it will be a great occasion to line up alongside Messi.

"It will be a special game against my old team-mates, who I have so much affection for, but I will defend the Barcelona shirt with pride," he continued in a press conference broadcast on Barca's official website.

"I always play with the same excitement, as if every game was the Champions League final. I am desperate to play in the Nou Camp."

Neymar's first Barcelona appearance came in the 2-2 draw with Lechia Gdansk in Poland, coming off the bench for the final 12 minutes.

The Polish opponents wasted no time in getting stuck into Barcelona's latest mega-money signing, but Neymar insisted the physical side of the game is something he's used to.

"In Brazil it was even worse," he said. "I'm used to being fouled, it's part of football and it's not unusual."

Having linked up with his new teammates following an extended layoff after playing a key role in Brazil's Confederations Cup campaign, Neymar also took time out to give his first impressions of life at Barcelona.

He added: "It's a new life for me, I'm delighted with my team-mates and the coach [Gerardo Martino] and I'm very happy to be here.

"I'm getting to know everyone and the atmosphere here is even better than I expected. It's a dream come true. I turn around and see players like Messi, Xavi [Hernandez], [Andres] Iniesta and [Carles] Puyol."

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