‘I don't work to win the Ballon d'Or’

Neymar da Silva Santos Junior celebrates his goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Villarreal. Photo: AFP

Neymar has claimed that winning trophies motivates him more than being named the best footballer in the world.

The Barcelona forward made the final three-man shortlist for this year's Ballon d'Or, with his team-mate Lionel Messi winning the prize for the fifth time.

Neymar has been tipped to become the world player of the year in the future but insists his focus is on adding to the significant recent haul of team honours at Camp Nou.

"It was already a dream just to be there in the Ballon d'Or [ceremony] with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who are two players that I respect a lot," he told Red Bull's website.

"If it [winning the award] happens some day I’ll be very happy, very proud… but I’m working to make my team win. I don’t work to be the best player in the world, I work to see my team win every single competition."

Neymar believes one of the secrets to the success he has enjoyed alongside Messi and Luis Suarez is the bond the South Americans share off the pitch as well as on it.

"I believe that this attack with Messi and Suarez is the best I’ve played in," he said. "They are two superstars and we get along very well on and off the pitch. So everything comes together to make it work.

"Even though we have a very strong rivalry on the national teams – Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay – we get along really well.

"I’m really proud to be part of this trident and proud that we are making soccer history. We don’t want to stop now, we want to keep writing history."

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