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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Neymar wants quick Lionel Messi return

Neymar is hoping Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi can make a quick recovery from injury.

Neymar impressed in the absence of Lionel Messi during the midweek victory over Celtic.
Neymar and Lionel Messi's partnership has been interrupted by injury.

• Ledwith: Barca attitude

Messi, 26, is expected be sidelined until January after injuring a thigh muscle during Barca’s game against Real Betis on Nov.10

The Argentina international will travel to Buenos Aires on Friday in order to continue his rehabilitation and Barcelona issued a timetable of the player’s expected recovery on Thursday in a bid to calm fears about its length.

In an interview with Mundo Leo on the DXTV network in Argentina, Neymar has spoken of his hope that Messi makes a full recovery soon.

"The team is sad because Leo is one of the basic parts of this team. We know that he can change a game in our favour at any moment", he said. "I hope he recovers and starts playing again as soon as possible."

The Brazil international also attempted to relieve the pressure on Barca boss Gerardo Martino by praising the former Paraguay coach.

Martino’s motives have been questioned as he moves the Blaugrana on from the tiki-taka style implemented during Pep Guardiola’s reign, but Neymar is happy with the club’s tactics.

"He’s a great coach and a wonderful person." he said. "He asks of me the same that he asks of every other player. How to mark and how to move around. He gives us total freedom."

Neymar also revealed that turning out wearing Barcelona colours is something he has dreamed of and that playing alongside his gilded teammates is something that spurs him on.

"I have always admired FC Barcelona, ever since the days of Ronaldinho, and even more so now that I am playing alongside Messi, Xavi and Iniesta", he said. "I had always dreamed of playing with such stars as them, to train with them, to share a dressing room with them … Being there is like being in another world."


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