The Brazil international joined Barca from Santos in 2013, but went through a tough period early on at Camp Nou.

Messi, though, took Neymar under his wing to help him become a key figure at Barca.

I have a nice story about Messi, Neymar told CNN.

Soon after I arrived, it was not a great moment in my career and he was the one who helped me. He saw that I was sad, with my head down, that things were not going right for me.

He told me to keep going, to be happy and to play the way I know. He told me this and he helped me a lot at that moment in time.

He is a person who I admire a lot.

Neymar and Messi, together with Luis Suarez, form a lethal attacking trident at Barcelona and the Brazilian believes friendship has been key to their fine performances.

I think it is about the care, respect, friendship and happiness that we have for being together, he added.

Training together every day, helping one another on the pitch, we are making history and I hope it can continue for many more years.

We have a great friendship. The only difference is three footballers, three star footballers in their respective countries, are here together at Barcelona.

It is difficult for this to happen  three South Americans. It is something that we have changed.