Neymar has opened up on playing with Lionel Messi and against Cristiano Ronaldo


Any footballer who has had the privilege of sharing a football pitch with Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo is lucky.

The two have transcended the game, becoming arguably the two best players in history.

Some players, like Angel Di Maria, can boast about calling both Messi and Ronaldo a teammate.

The Paris Saint-Germain winger shared a stage with Messi for Argentina and he played alongside Ronaldo at Real Madrid.

For Di Maria’s teammate Neymar, the situation is a little different.

The Brazilian spent four seasons with Messi at Barcelona but the closest he’s ever gotten to Ronaldo is during their El Clasico meetings.

Those matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid were always competitive and Neymar got the chance to witness Ronaldo up close.


Neymar discusses Messi and Ronaldo

He opened up on the experience when he spoke to The Players’ Tribune alongside NBA star Steph Curry.

The 26-year-old started by reflecting on his time as Messi’s teammate.

“I played with Messi, who is, for me, one of the greatest footballers of all time, and he is my idol in football,” Neymar said.

“With Messi, I learned every day, whether during our practice, or playing with him, or just watching him play.

FC Barcelona v Real CD Espanyol - La Liga

“And that made me stronger and it increased my capacity on the field because I kept learning a lot from him.”

On facing Ronaldo, Neymar added: “As for Cristiano Ronaldo, he is a monster. Facing him is a pleasure and an honour, but we have to be more prepared.

“He is one of the greatest in football so you get smarter, you get alert, but at the same time you learn a lot, too.”

Neymar continued by admitting he wants to keep learning from Messi and Ronaldo as he strives to win the Ballon d’Or for the first time.

“So, they are two of the big guys that I can relate to, because I want to learn, I want more, I want to win, I want more trophies, score more goals… so I keep learning from them every day,” he said.

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