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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Barcelona's Neymar: I want to win the Ballon d'Or, but am not in a hurry

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno delves into Neymar's role for Brazil, focusing in on how he's matured on and off the pitch.

Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar has set a goal of winning the Ballon d'Or one day, but insists he's in no rush to do so.

Neymar has become an increasingly influential figure at the Camp Nou despite the presence of superstar teammates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, having a direct hand in four goals in the Blaugrana's improbable tie-turning 6-1 defeat of PSG in their Champions League round-of-16 second-leg match this month.

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The former Santos man has been a key figure for his country, as well, with his performances helping Brazil become the first non-host nation to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia this week.

Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won the Ballon d'Or every year since 2008. Asked if the award was a goal of his, Neymar, who finished third in the 2015 voting, told Russia's Sport-Express: "To win the Ballon d'Or is something that I've set as a goal, it would be a personal victory. But I'm not in a hurry.

"Personal goals are not the reason I'm in football. I play for pleasure. I like to help my teammates and my team. If everything goes well, the individual awards will come."

Neymar says he plays football for fun, not to win awards.

The 25-year-old's partnership with Messi and Suarez at Barcelona has given the club one of the most feared attacking lines in the world. Neymar hailed the trio's relationship, both on the field and off. 

"Relationships are important off the field, we are friends. On the field, we complete each other. Messi and I play on the wings, Suarez in the middle.

"Messi is a player that I've admired since I came to Barcelona. He's helped me since the moment I arrived. I've always admired his determination and attitude.

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