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20th-Nov-2015

Neymar breaks out of Messi`s shadow ahead of El Clasico

By AFP, Madrid

During Brazilian star Neymar's two-and-a-half year spell at Barcelona, there has been one continuous soundbite from the softly-spoken 23-year-old: "I'm here to learn from the best".The "best" he consistently cites is teammate and four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi. The two share a telepathic relationship on the field and, along with Uruguayan Luis Suarez, form one of the most lethal strike forces world football has ever seen."To play beside the best is very easy," Neymar said during Barca's treble-winning campaign last season.Yet, whilst Messi has been sidelined for the past two months by knee ligament damage, it is Neymar that has carried the European champions to an unexpected three-point lead in La Liga heading into Saturday's huge clash away at Real Madrid.Given his form in recent months, is there much for Neymar the apprentice to learn from his master Messi? And, with the latter set to return this weekend, will Neymar be happy to hand over the reigns once more to the Argentine?Initial impressions are that he will. Primarily because Neymar, Messi and Suarez share an equally strong relationship off the field as they do in tearing opponents to shreds on it.