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Lionel Messi discusses how Neymar departure has affected Barcelona

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International Champions Cup El Clásico match FC Barcelona v Real Madrid Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

Lionel Messi has been talking and specifically about Neymar and how his departure has affected Barcelona.

When the Brazilian left Camp Nou in the summer many feared the worst, but Barca have gone on to have a superb season without him.

The team are clear at the top of the Liga table, yet to taste defeat, and still in contention in both the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

Barca’s results have prompted the question of whether Barcelona have missed Neymar at all, so here’s what Messi’s made of it all.

“Neymar’s departure has changed our way of playing. We lose lots of attacking potential but it helped us in a defensive sense.

“Right now we’re very well armed in the centre of the pitch. We have more balance and that makes us defensively strong.”

Source | World Soccer (via Sport)

Neymar has been thriving on the pitch at PSG and Messi also thinks his team will be a threat in the Champions League.

“Man City are one of the strongest teams, same as PSG. They have been the strongest teams til now but the season is very long. I’d not rule out,” he added.

“Madrid because of what they have and their experience, despite that they aren’t getting the results people expected them too.

“Bayern too, are a great side who will be there at the end of hte season. But it’s true that City and PSG are the best right now.”

Barcelona are certainly a different team without Neymar, but are they a better team? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!