Neymar, who left the Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, endured a mixed first season in Spain, scoring 15 goals in all competitions as he adapted to a new country while being the poster boy for the 2014 World Cup.
Luis Suarez arrived at Barcelona following the tournament in Brazil and alongside Messi and Neymar formed the ‘MSN’ front three that plundered 364 goals in three years.
The Brazilian scored 90 of those goals and despite moving on to France 18 months ago he clearly remains indebted to the welcome Messi gave him in Barcelona.
When Neymar arrived at the Catalan club, Messi’s message to him was simple: “I’m here to help you.”
“It’s a story I tell everyone. At the time when I needed the most support, the man on the team, the best in the world, came and gave me love,” Neymar told Globo Esporte, per Goal.
“Leo was a very special guy for me at Barcelona.”
According to Neymar, the Argentine star told him not to be overawed by his new surroundings, which helped him to settle.
“He talked to me and said: ‘[When you] come here, you must be yourself, you must be happy and the same as in Santos.
“‘Do not be shy, do not be afraid of me or anyone in this club. We are here to help you.'”
Meanwhile, PSG expect to have Neymar back in Paris for the second-leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clash with Manchester United next week.
The forward is currently in Brazil as he continues his rehabilitation from injury but he should return to France to support his side from the stands.
“He is always doing good when he is back home in Brazil. It is important that we get Neymar back before United for support,” PSG boss Thomas Tuchel said.