‘I’m not trying to surpass Lionel Messi’, says Barcelona star Neymar

Barcelona star Neymar has insisted that it is not his goal to surpass team-mate Lionel Messi as one of the best players in the world.

The Argentina international has been voted the game’s best on four occasions in the past six years and is widely regarded as one of the best around in the history of the game.

Neymar has been tipped to challenge the 28-year-old for the Fifa Ballon d’Or this year following an impressive 2014-15 campaign, yet he has made it clear that he is focused on his own performances rather than trying to dethrone Messi.

“It is not my goal to try to surpass Messi,” the 23-year-old told SporTV.

“I am just trying to follow my own career path. I want to keep on doing the things that I have been doing, to win titles and to achieve my goals.

“But I am not attempting to be better than any one else. My goal is to keep improving myself.”

Neymar will lock horns with Messi when Brazil meet Argentina in the qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup and he has stressed that he will give his all to help the Selecao to victory.

“Messi is a big star. It is not a good thing to be playing against him, but not necessarily a bad thing either.

“But I will do everything within my powers to win. It will be a tough game, but the truth is that all qualifiers will be tough.”

Neymar will miss Brazil’s first two qualification games against Chile and Venezuela due to suspension following his red card at the Copa America.