Neymar ready to replace Messi - Sampaoli


Neymar is a worthy successor to Lionel Messi at Barcelona, according to Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli.

Brazil international Neymar took a back seat as Barca recorded a 3-0 LaLiga win over Sevilla on Wednesday, Messi scoring a first-half brace after Luis Suarez's opener.

Neymar, 25, has nine league goals and 12 assists this season and is considered the man to eventually replace star Messi, who turns 30 in June.

Sampaoli believes the former Santos attacker is ready for the task of taking over from arguably the world's best player.

"I congratulated Neymar for his game and for the admiration I have for him," the Argentinian told a news conference.

"He is a worthy successor to Messi and is on the road to big things.

"I have a good relationship with him."

Messi's brace ensured Barca kept the pressure on league leaders Real Madrid, who are two points clear at the top and have a game in hand.