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The Argentine was heavily criticised during parts of the past season but his Brazilian team-mate says he will defend the 26-year-old "until the death"

Barcelona star Neymar has insisted that Lionel Messi is never a burden to the team.

The Argentine suffered a stop-start season due to injury and came in for heavy criticism after their Champions League exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid in April for an allegedly poor attitude.

However, his Brazilian team-mate has defended his fellow attacker, stessing his important to the Catalan club.

"In my opinion, Messi is the best player I've ever seen," Neymar is quoted as saying by Sport.

"I've never seen anything like him. I'll defend him until the death. He is our solution, never our problem."

Neymar went on to express his excitement about the start of the World Cup in just over two weeks' time in his home country.

"Since I was three, I've wanted to play in a World Cup," the forward admitted. "I grew up watching Romario and Ronaldo. It's a dream to be at the World Cup."

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