Lionel Messi Comments on Luis Suarez, Neymar 'Understanding' at Barcelona

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2016

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (C) celebrates a goal with teammates Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar (L) and Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (R) during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Granada CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on January 9, 2016.   AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE / AFP / LLUIS GENE        (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Lionel Messi has insisted he feels as much pressure as ever at Barcelona despite the success of team-mates Luis Suarez and Neymar, describing their relationship as a "natural understanding."  

In an interview with United Arab Emirates newspaper 7Days, Messi said that just because his fellow forwards are thriving, it doesn't mean he wants to contribute any less (h/t Sport): "Every time I put on the Barcelona shirt I feel pressure to perform, because that is what this club demands. Luis and Neymar are scoring and creating a lot of goals for the team, but just because they are adding so much contribution, it does not mean that I want to add any less."

Messi won his fifth Ballon d'Or in January.
Messi won his fifth Ballon d'Or in January.Matt Dunham/Associated Press

The trio proved en route to last season's European and domestic treble that they could be the beginning of a new dominant force in world football, something Messi's been part of before.

However, even during his earlier years playing with great attackers such as Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o, Thierry Henry and others, the Argentinian may never have lined up as part of such a devastating trio as that of "MSN."

Messi, Suarez and Neymar have left a trail of destruction in their wake over the past 18 months or so, when Suarez made his £65 million move from Liverpool to the Camp Nou, completing Barcelona's attacking puzzle.

Fast-forward to the present day and the MSN trio are not only guiding Barca into contention for another possible treble, but they give the impression they're enjoying every minute of it.

Messi, Neymar and Suarez won the treble in their first season together at Barca.
Messi, Neymar and Suarez won the treble in their first season together at Barca.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Messi added: “Every success you see at Barcelona is the result of hard work, but between the three of us there is a real natural understanding. We have got a great relationship and understanding together, but we are always believing we can take it to an even higher level.”

Both Messi and Neymar were present on the 2015 Ballon d'Or podium, while many thought it was an injustice Suarez didn't occupy Cristiano Ronaldo's place in the top three following his success under Barca boss Luis Enrique. 

Despite the power of the MSN triumvirate, Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech suggested it was Andres Iniesta who was actually the most dangerous weapon in Barca's arsenal, per presenter Piers Morgan:

At 28 years of age, Messi is now growing into one of the more senior members at the Camp Nou, but Neymar and Suarez brought a pedigree of their own to the club, as opposed to being moulded as players there.

Only a consummate professional such as Messi would feel the need to maintain or even increase the pressure on himself with those talents around, but perhaps that's another glimpse into the secret behind his success.