Pique confident of Neymar-Messi pairing

Gerard Pique has expressed confidence in Neymar working well with Lionel Messi, and is open to defensive reinforcement at the club.

Brazilian Neymar completed a €57m transfer to the Camp Nou at the start of this week and the prospect of linking up with Messi in attack has Pique encouraged.

“It is true that we faced him in the Club World Cup [in December 2011] and although we won that final, he showed he is a striker that you cannot take your eye off of for a moment,” reflected the centre-back to Mundo Deportivo this week.

“He is technical, fast, has a lot of ways to trouble a defence, I believe his is a very good signing.

“Surely he will fit well with Messi, they will understand each other. The best players are always able to work together and they will.

“The more good players we have, the more chances we have to win titles and that is what we all want. Furthermore, the presence of Neymar will help Leo.

“Many times I have seen opponents try to drown him, with a crowd of players around him. With Neymar, at least those opponents will now have to be aware of another player.

“And we also have Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc, Pedro… Also, Neymar is one of those players that the Camp Nou likes to watch, and that’s always good because the fans are more lively.”

Pique was asked if the rumours linking the club with bringing in another centre-back are of concern to him.

“Not at all. It is normal that the club try to improve each year. Here we want to win it all every season and for that we must have the best squad possible.

“If the club considers it is necessary to strengthen the defence, by all means. This season we have conceded more goals than in the past so we must improve.

“Most of those who are linked have experience in the top flight. Thiago Silva, Mats Hummels, Vincent Kompany…they are all very good and are at great clubs.

“But deciding who to sign is down to the technical staff. I have to devote myself to training and playing.”

Another possible change this summer could be the exit of young midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is available for a reduced buyout clause having failed to play a high enough percentage of games at the Camp Nou last term.

“Thiago is a great player, a midfielder that is currently with Barca and if he has a little patience then he will win here, because he will have plenty of opportunities. Personally, I am not worried because whilst he can leave Barca, they are the best team to develop his football, so I believe that he will stay.”

Tags Messi Neymar Pique Thiago