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Neymar insists Ballon d´Or win is no obsession

13 September 2017 16:16

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar insists team trophies are more important to him than winning a first Ballon d'Or.

The Brazil international joined from Barcelona in a world-record €222million transfer last month, in a move that many considered to be motivated by a desire to escape the shadow of Lionel Messi and challenge for football's top individual prize.

Neymar's form for the Ligue 1 side has certainly added weight to any hopes of winning the award, the 25-year-old having taken his tally to five goals and five assists in as many games after inspiring PSG to a 5-0 thrashing of Celtic on Tuesday.

However, the former Santos man says his focus is on helping the team to enjoy success, rather than claiming individual accolades.

"Of course a football player wants to win the Ballon d'Or," he said after the Champions League win in Glasgow. "But I don't have to think about it. I have to think about what's better for our group, our club.

"This is a great team and, if we keep going like this, we have a big chance of doing it [winning the tournament].

"I'm very happy to start with a win. Of course, it's not only about getting goals, but that's the most important. That's what we came for. I'm very happy with this game."

Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe were also on target, with PSG's formidable front three showing signs of developing into a fearsome trident.

Neymar, however, says they are still getting used to playing alongside one another.

"They are two great players, " he said of Cavani and Mbappe, who signed from Monaco last month. "We are getting to know each other.

"Cavani is an extraordinary striker, Kylian is a guy who likes going ahead, going for the ball. We'll get to know each other more and more.

"It's easy when you play with intelligent players. We still don't have a full understanding between us: through a look, a movement, we're still missing a little understanding, but we'll get better step by step."

Neymar had something of a running spat with Celtic defender Anthony Ralston and the pair did not shake hands after the final whistle, but the 18-year-old says there was nothing serious behind the incident.

"I was just walking by and [Marco] Verratti was there as well, it was just a moment," he said. "He said what he said and I said something back and that was it.

"To be honest, I don't care about that side of things at the end, I don't want to dwell on that too much.

"I didn't fear him at all. I knew I was coming up against him. I went out and faced him head on.

"It was a good test for me to see where I am at, what level I am at. I am my biggest critic. I'll go analyse the game and see what I can do better."

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