New challenger in Barça wolf pack?

2013-06-30 14:00

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However talented Neymar is, Messi will always be the alpha.

I was expecting a question as to whether Neymar and Lionel Messi can play together.

What effect will the arrival of Neymar have on the four-time Ballon d’Or winner and undisputed lynchpin of the current FC Barcelona side?

Barça legend Johann Cruyff recently stoked the debate when he stressed the need to learn from the past.

He discussed Neymar’s arrival, saying: “You can’t have two captains on the same ship. With Neymar on board, I would have planned to sell Messi.”

While these concerns are legitimate, they are nothing to get overly worried about.

Messi is undoubtedly the best player in the world.

He can thrive with anyone around him and putting someone with as much potential as Neymar next to him will downright scare defenders.

And Neymar himself has made it crystal clear that he knows who the alpha male in the Barcelona wolf pack is.

He recently tweeted: “I’ll help Messi to continue being the world’s Number One.”

Messi has racked up limitless credit in Catalonia over the past few years, and no newcomer will be challenging his top-dog status any time soon.

Just ask French Ligue 1 top goal scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic how bucking the Barcelona system worked out for him.

Inevitably, the eulogies have poured in for Neymar and one commentator has predicted that he will exceed the top two.

The whole master-and-apprentice thing is wonderful when it works, but remember what happened to previous superstars? Nobody wants to see little Lionel vaporised in a Death Star light-sabre battle.

Well, Cristiano Ronaldo might actually get a kick out of that; but other than him, nobody else.

Whether Messi moves on from Barcelona in 4 or 10 years’ time, chances are his legacy will be as strong as ever.

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