Neymar scored twice in Saturday’s 6-0 rout of Elche to take his tally for the season to 19 goals in 24 appearances – four more than he managed throughout his debut campaign in Spain.
His latest strikes were set up by the four-time world player of the year and the Brazil captain reckons his Argentina counterpart has inspired his hot second-season streak.
“Of all the players I have seen play, Messi is the best and I will always have enormous respect for him,” Neymar said.
“We are getting better all the time and together we can do great things. If you have a good relationship off the field it can influence things on it.
“To play beside the best is very easy.”
Neymar has yet to win a major trophy in Barca colours after the Catalan giants missed out last season for the first time in six years.
His own maiden campaign was blighted by injuries – culminating in the two broken vertebrae that ended his World Cup dream with Brazil at the quarter-final stage – but the 22-year-old believes he is finally in the groove.
“In the first season I had to get to know everything and I have always said that I have many things to achieve and I still feel that,” Neymar added.
“I have evolved professionally and personally; I have learned from players I have by my side who are world icons. It is a pleasure to be able to train with them.”