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Neymar backs Barcelona to retain Champions League crown

Neymar believes his Barcelona team can this season become the first club to defend the Champions League.

The Brazil international scored the third goal of Barca’s 3-1 win over Juventus in last season’s final as Luis Enrique’s men completed a treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League.

No team has been able defend the continental title since the introduction of group stages and change of name from the European Cup to the Champions League in 1992.

Barca will again be among the front-runners this term to claim the biggest prize available despite a mixed start to their campaign across all competitions.

Neymar told the club’s official website: “We have quality, we have a great team, quality players and we can win another Champions League in a row (sic).

“We are going to do our best to be the only team to do that.”

Following a difficult first season at the Camp Nou in 2013-14, Neymar formed part of a lethal front three last term alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, the trio registering 122 goals between them in the league, cup and on the European stage.

Messi will not be available until November at the earliest due to knee ligament damage and his absence through injury has added to a tricky spell for Luis Enrique, whose side have lost twice in La Liga already this season.

But Neymar added: “I hope to make history, continue to make history here in Barcelona, win spectacular things, another Champions League, La Liga, and continue doing my job.

“I want to continue to play my football, grow as a person and help my team-mates – winning is always what I like.

“We achieved one [great season], we put in a great season, we won everything and we scored more than 100 goals.

“But now the following season is difficult because everybody is looking at us.

“Everyone wants to score, to be stronger, and we have to do more than we did last season and we have to do something different to change things around.”

The last team to retain the European Cup was AC Milan in 1990.

Sat 10 Oct, 2015
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