Former Brazil star Juninho has advised FC Barcelona and Brazil star Neymar Jr. not to try and take too much upon himself in the absence of Lionel Messi at Camp Nou due to injury.
The Argentine star was ruled out for two months with a knee injury in September when playing against Las Palmas which ruled him out of the Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen and the defeat to Sevilla in La Liga at the weekend.
Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr. the other two in the triad of the famous MSN are now entrusted with the responsibility of leading the attack for the Blaugrana, with Neymar expected to take the leading role.
Juninho advises Neymar to take initiative, but, be humble
Former Lyon midfielder, famous for his ability to score from free-kicks from just about anywhere, reckons that Neymar should not take the responsibility solely on his shoulder in an individual capacity, but, should be taking more of a leadership role.
“Neymar’s thoughts should not be: ‘I am going to replace Messi, I’m going to get the ball, score all the goals and make everything happen,'” Juninho told Globo on Sunday. “It cannot be like this, but he has to take the initiative and know that Messi is not on the field and he maybe has to take the lead.
“With the Argentine absent, he may have to do this.”
Juninho backs Neymar to succeed in absence of Messi
Juninho went on to add that the Brazilian has the leadership ability and his experience as captain of the national side means he will be comfortable in being the leader for FC Barcelona.
“Even with the increased pressure it is not something that Neymar is not used to,” he added. “At Santos he was always the centre of attention, and with the Brazilian national team.”
“In Brazil, he knows that he is already the leader of the team by what he does on the pitch and due to the absence of other players of his level,” Juninho said. “Therefore, I think that with Brazil it is easier and our need today causes us to have more patience with him.
“Nothing is easy — neither in the Selecao nor at Barcelona, though. The Brazilian national team is the best known in the world and Barcelona is the best club in the world.
“And when they lose their best player it is also difficult.”