Paulinho spoke to the press ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League Group D match against Olympiacos.
The Brazilian, who joined Barcelona from Guangzhou Evergrande in August 2017, discussed his relationship with Lionel Messi, Neymar’s potential, and his response to those who doubted him.
Paulinho: 'I'm coming out of my shell'
Champions League action with Barcelona: “It gives me great satisfaction to be able to play. I have to take full advantage because you never know would could happen.”
Adaptation at Camp Nou: “I already feel really good at Barça. There are a lot of stars in the team and it was complicated. But everyone has helped me a lot and I’m certain that they’ll help me with whatever is necessary. I’m coming out of my shell little by little, and now I feel really relaxed and confident.”
Position on the pitch: “I have always played in the middle. Both with the national team and with Barça I’m free to get forward in to the opposition’s area. That’s one of my characteristics.”
Messi is the best but Neymar will take over
Lionel Messi: “Lionel is a player who always does different things. I’ve faced him at international level, but now I have the huge pleasure of playing by his side. He’s incredible. Messi has helped me a lot to adapt to the team. I’ve been able to play with Neymar in the national team and now I can play with Messi here. I like to do the running for him and later, he decides.”
Differences between Messi and Neymar: “They’re different players in a lot of ways. They’re impressive and now I have to help Messi to be the best in the world. Neymar is impressive and I also have to help him to achieve his objectives. Messi is the best at the moment, but Neymar will be within three or four years.”
Proving the doubters wrong: “Some people questioned me when I arrived at Barça but I always kept a clear head. Those people who backed me, the coaches and my team-mates, saw when I arrived that I was well up for working hard. The main thing is that we all want to win titles.”