FC Barcelona

Lionel Messi Will Continue to Thrive With Neymar in Same Strikeforce

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 18: Lionel Messi (R) of Barcelona is challenged by Neymar of Santos during the FIFA Club World Cup Final match between Santosl and Barcelona at the Yokohama International Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Tim KeeneyContributor IOctober 15, 2016

If it's actually physically possible, Lionel Messi will only get better with the talented Brazilian forward Neymar in the same lineup. 

At the very least, he'll continue his dominance as the world's best player—and most certainly not take a step back as some are suggesting. 

It seems silly that this point even needs to be made, but after the 21-year-old burgeoning superstar signed with Barcelona, many have claimed that Neymar and Messi will fail to mesh. 

From CNN:

Barcelona legend Johann Cruyff recently stoked the debate when stressing a need to learn from the past as he discussed Neymar's arrival, saying he would not put "two captains on the same ship."

Moreover, the report states that Zlatan Ibrahimovic blamed Messi for having to play out of position with Barcelona, while Jimmy Burns also foresees potential tension, wondering how Neymar will fit into a team that already has a "god." 

While those concerns are legitimate, they are nothing to get overly concerned 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 is downright scary—at least for defenders. 

Brazilian Thiago Silva, via AC Milan's Sulia account, summed it up perfectly:

The Neymar-Messi partnership? Barça have made a great deal. If Neymar and Messi find the right feeling between them, then it will be quality in its purest form. It will be nasty, and I say this as a defender.

Finding the right feeling will depend on how Neymar, generally a true striker, adjusts to playing down the left side (and possibly behind Messi at times).

But a player with his pace and creativity should thrive on the outside, and as long as he accepts his role, he will do some serious damage linking up with Andres Iniesta and Jordi Alba on the outside and Messi on the inside. 

No matter what happens, though, Messi will continue to reign over the rest of La Liga with the same dominance. 

The only question that remains now is whether or not Neymar can combine with the Argentine to create the most potent duo in the world. 

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