Paulinho: I’m here to help Messi

Barcelona midfielder Paulinho says that one of his jobs in the team is to work hard so Lionel Messi can continue to be the world’s best player.

The Brazilian, speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Olympiacos, also thanked Messi for his help whilst he adapted to his new club and maintained it was a ‘privilege’ to play alongside the Argentine.

“We all work very hard so that he can play his football and it’s a privilege to run so that he can continue to be the best, said Paulinho, who was signed from Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande for €40m in the summer.

“If you are playing alongside him you must help him so the ball reaches him in good areas. I have a lot of freedom in my position, here and with the national side, and the coach lets me get forward, set up goals, and score too.

“They are my strengths and I try to do the best possible, but I always want to improve and help my teammates.”

Paulinho was asked to compare Lionel Messi and former Barcelona star Neymar.

“They are both wonderful players,” he replied. “But they are different. Both are very impressive, top level footballers.

“For me, it’s an honour to play with one for my country and the other with my club.”

Tags Messi Olympiacos Paulinho