Barcelona’s championship hopes lie with Neymar and Messi’s superstar partnership

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Neymar and Lionel Messi - (C) Christian Ruiz V

The forward partnership of Neymar and Lionel Messi will be crucial for Barcelona to win La Liga

If Barcelona can get the superstar partnership of Neymar and Messi working effectively, they could separate themselves as champions of Spain.

Barcelona has arguably the best forward partnership on the planet with Brazilian young-gun Neymar and the Argentine maestro Leo Messi.

The issue with this superstar partnership is that the two are yet to spend much time together on the pitch.

Since transferring to Camp Nou in May of 2013 the 22-year-old Neymar has only played with the Messi in 11 of his 27 appearances for Barcelona.

A torn hamstring left Messi sidelined from November right into the New Year, leaving Neymar to take up the mantle as spearhead of the potent Barca attack.

Neymar thrived in Messi’s absence netting 12 goals and adding 10 assists to his name so far this season.

Messi’s return in January of 2014 sadly marked the farewell of Neymar who was himself sidelined with an ankle injury.

Similarly, Messi has had a stellar season with 24 goals and 11 assists in 27 appearances for Barcelona.

Both of the South American stars have proven they can perform within the Barcelona system on their own, but can they do it as a partnership?

With so few games together, that is yet to be decisively proven.

If Barcelona Manager Gerado Martino can find a way to get the Neymar/Messi partnership working effectively the results will be devastating.

Over the weekend onlookers were given a glimpse of the superstar partnership in action as they played together in Barcelona’s 6-0 La Liga flogging of Rayo Vallecano.

In this game, Messi netted 2 goals with Neymar scoring 1 himself in his return from injury.

Unfortunately, the two were only on the pitch together for 12 minutes as Neymar was a 64th minute substitute with Messi coming off in the 74th.

Only Messi’s second goal was scored with Neymar on the pitch.

With Messi scoring and Neymar back from injury with a bang, opponents must be frightened by the prospect of this superstar partnership finally living up to the hype.

Martino will have to find a way to balance the two forwards without losing their individual potency.

It will be difficult to fit two goal scoring forwards of their calibre into the patented 4-3-3 system of Barcelona.

Managing their positioning without compromising the rest of the team’s effectiveness will be essential.

If Martino balances his team with this superstar partnership starting on the pitch, Barcelona will be incredibly difficult to outscore.

Barcelona is currently in an awkward position on top of the La Liga table leading by goal difference over both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid who are all equal on points.

Neymar and Messi’s effective collaboration and defence destroying partnership could be the key factor in Barcelona separating from the pack to lift another championship.

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About Juan Estepa

Juan Estepa Currently studying journalism at University. I am excited to express my opinions and spread the news of the footballing world.

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