Messi will always be No.1, says Barcelona team-mate Alba

The Spain international full-back believes the Argentina star will reman the undisputed star at Camp Nou despite the arrival of Brazilian sensation Neymar this summer
Barcelona defender Jordi Alba says Lionel Messi will remain the heartbeat of the team despite the arrival of Neymar this summer.

Debate has raged over whether the Argentina international will be compatible with the Brazilian starlet, with club icon Johan Cruyff previously suggesting the Blaugrana should cash in on Messi rather than attempt to accommodate the attacking duo.

Alba, however, believes Neymar will have no trouble adapting to Barca's system - including the role of Messi as the undisputed main man.

He told AS: "He [Neymar] is a guy who has adapted very quickly to the Barca style. He is very eager, but Messi is number one and always will be for as long as he wishes."

The Spain international also took a moment to praise the impact of newly-appointed coach Gerardo Martino and revealed the Argentine has stuck to the club's template for success.

"He's a great coach who is instilling very positive things," he said. "I think the style is the same. Everything works pretty much the same as before."

Barcelona will kick off their new Liga campaign with the visit of Levante on August 16.