Arda Turan on Barcelona relationships: Neymar “my friend, always very close to me”

In a wide-ranging interview with Catalan outlet Diari Ara, Arda Turan reveals he feels closest to Neymar, Adriano and Andres Iniesta at Barcelona and talks at length about his role in the side.

Barcelona's Arda Turan shown at a training session shortly after signing for the club last summer. Gustau Nacarino / Reuters / July 13, 2015
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Speaking with Catalan outlet Diari Ara, one of Barcelona's most recent arrivals, Arda Turan, reveals he is closest on the team to Neymar and is somewhat cryptic about his relationship with Lionel Messi.

The wide ranging interview, published Monday night in Catalan, touches on a range of subjects, including his thoughts on the discrepancy in global reaction to acts of terrorism in Europe and elsewhere.

The Turkey international, in discussing Neymar, says the Brazilian is “my fried, always very close to me” and notes he also enjoys close relationships with “my idol” Andres Iniesta and Adriano.

“I get them especially well,” he says of that particular trio.

Earlier in his interview, Diari Ara notes “we have interviewed for 30 minutes and not spoken about Leo Messi” to which Turan simply replies “no need to talk about it”.

He has plenty of praise for Messi’s skill, saying “it is amazing” and he was “in shock” when he first saw the Argentine up close.

“The most important thing is his tactical intelligence. It’s amazing, it surpasses everything ... He has a talent above the rest: think fast and that allows you to execute all the other virtues.”

And, he notes at the beginning of the interview, he “enjoys” to playing with Messi, Neymar, Sergio Busquets and Dani Alves, he says.

“It is very easy to play with them, they are amazing, tactically they are very intelligent.”

But asked if it was worth it to come to Barca just to play with Messi, Turan says “No” flatly.

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“Leo, for me, is the best player ever, but I come to win titles.”

Speaking again about Iniesta and Neymar, he says he looks to Iniesta “how to play, how he moves”.

“I spend the day talking with him to improve and know everything about how the club plays,” Turan adds, saying he admires Iniesta’s “quiet, introverted” style.

As for why he gets on so well with Neymar, though, he says the 24-year-old “like (Dani) Alves or me, is hot-blooded”.

Of Barcelona, and why he signed for the club specifically, 29-year-old Turan says he thought: “If I play very well I will end up signing for Barca, because my style fits this team.” (He also notes if he had played just well, “I will end up at Arsenal”.)

Turan has adjusted well since officially beginning his Barcelona career in January after the club’s player registration ban expired. He has shifted wherever needed in midfield and scored two goals with three assists in 12 league matches.

He describes his style as “aggressive when I play, looking for the ball, never with bad intentions”. Turan says he sees himself as part of a supporting group for “a machine that works” in front with Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

“Leo, Luis and Neymar, they do all the goals, assists ... we take care of the rest.”

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Turan concludes the interview discussing the social situation in his native Turkey and Europe, asked if “politically, socially” he is “involved”.

Directly queried about “what is happening in Europe” he shifts the conversation to a broader theme.

“Of course we are sad for what has happened,” he begins, referencing recent attacks and social upheaval on the Continent.

“But I can only say one thing: the reaction to the attacks of Paris was not the same as with Ankara,” he adds, noting the difference in global response to attacks on European and recent terrorist bombings in the Turkish capital.

“I can only say that people do not respond the same, do not demonstrate the same sadness when a person dies in Paris, when a bomb explodes here, and when it happens in Turkey.

“When a European problem has a problem it magnifies everything, but when it happens in Turkey, in Africa or anywhere else, the response is different.

“People are the same everywhere. The response to terrorism has to be equal whatever the country is.”

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