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Pique: Neymar's presence will help Messi

The Blaugrana defender believes the Brazil starlet will ease the responsibility felt by the Argentine maestro this coming season.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique says new signing Neymar can help share some of the goalscoring burden felt by Lionel Messi.

The Argentina star scored 46 league goals, which was 10 more La Liga strikes than Cesc Fabregas, David Villa, Alexis Sanchez and Cristian Tello managed together. Pique believes Neymar can help shift some of the weight of expectation placed on Messi, as the Samba star will give defenses more problems to handle.

"The presence of Neymar will help Leo," Pique told Mundo Deportivo. "Messi often has a crowd of opponents around him, but with Neymar on the pitch too at least two of those opposition players will have to be aware of him.

"We then also have players like [Andres] Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc and Pedro as well."

The 26-year-old Spaniard also discussed rumors linking Barcelona with a number of the world's best center backs, saying that even though he admires some of the names linked with the league champions, he is purely focusing on his own game.

"Most of the players that are being linked have experience in the top flight. Thiago Silva, [Mats] Hummels, [Vincent] Kompany, they are all very good players and are at great clubs," Pique said. "Deciding who to sign is not my decision though. I have to devote my time and thoughts to training and playing."

Reflecting on the Blaugrana's campaign, Pique feels it was excellent, especially given coach Tito Vilanova's battle with illness.

"I think the team deserves a very good rating," Pique said. "We won the league, we matched the record for points and we have reached the semifinals of the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.

"All that despite Tito's disease and injuries to key players. It's frustrating how we lost the tie against Bayern [Munich], but in summary I think the season has been remarkable."

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