Barcelona were expected to suffer a lot in the absence of superstar Lionel Messi, who is ruled out for the next couple of weeks due to an injury.
The Argentine is not usually absent because of injury. Playing regularly has been one of the main fortes that have helped him to win for FIFA Ballon d’Or awards in his career. As a result of the surprising injury, Barcelona were in danger of collapsing altogether. The club had not started the Champions League campaign in brilliant fashion, while also recently conceded their lead in the la Liga.
Upcoming games against the likes of Real Madrid were threatening to destroy the campaign, but they have been immensely helped by Neymar stepping up to the plate according to defender Marc Bartra. Luis Suarez and Neymar are seen as the key attacking players right now. The Brazilian is slowly starting to assert his authority in the team and he has scored eight goals in just seven league appearances this campaign. Suarez has also been scoring but not in the same prolific manner and it puts a lot of pressure on Neymar. The 23-year-old, though, has shown every sense of handling the situation in a mature fashion.
“I think it is the case that Neymar has taken up a roll where he participates more in the build-up of play with Messi not there.He is playing well and with the quality that we have in attack it is important that players like he and Suarez keep scoring the goals for us.Neymar is a great player but Leo is incomparable and there is no way you can replace him.Neymar and Suarez are among the best players in the world, they needed to step up and fill the gap which is what is happening but it is also the responsibility of the rest of the team,” said Bartra.