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09 aug 09:38

Messi: I have no problem with Neymar

The Argentine insists he gets on with the Brazilian "on and off the pitch" and stresses there has been no great upheaval under new coach Gerardo Martino.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has made it clear he has had no problems with Neymar since the Brazilian's €57 million move to the club.

The Argentine ace started a game alongside the 21-year-old for the first time on Wednesday, with both players getting on the scoresheet in a 7-1 thrashing of Thailand, and Messi insists that any speculation of unrest between the pair is pure speculation from the media.

"There’s no problem between us; these are things that come out of the press," he told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.

"We get on with each other on and off the pitch and we’re getting to know each other little by little. We haven’t played much together. But he’ll bring a lot of joy to the club, to us and to the people."

Messi went on to explain the impact of new coach Gerardo Martino at Camp Nou, revealing the former Newell's Old Boys coach is keen for the team to improve their pressing game once more in the 2013-14 season.
"He is telling us that we need to get back to being who we have been for the last few years," Messi explained. "He wants us to create more pressure and work on recovering the ball as quickly as possible. We’re out to do that.

"We’re still getting to know each other. Every coach has his own things. He hasn’t come to change anything, just to get back what we lost a little last year."

Barcelona face a Malaysia XI on Saturday in the latest leg of their lengthy pre-season tour, but Messi believes their work this summer will pay dividends come the new campaign.

"I don’t know whether it [the tour] is the best way to prepare or not, but it’s what we’re doing," the 26-year-old said.

"We’re working very well. There are a lot of events and there’s a lot of travelling. We train when we can and take the matches very seriously.

"The games help us to get into our rhythm, it’s good preparation and we’ll come into the season in good shape."  



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