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.”
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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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