The PSG star is pleased that his former club-mate at Barcelona has qualified for Russia, but expressed disappointment at Chile missing out.
Brazil forward Neymar has admitted he is pleased that former team-mate Lionel Messi will play in the 2018 World Cup.
Messi scored a hat-trick as Argentina sealed automatic qualification to next summer’s competition in Russia, helping his country climb from sixth to third in the CONMEBOL table.
The pair played together for four seasons at Barcelona before Neymar’s world record €222 million transfer to PSG in August. The Brazilian’s departure from Camp Nou was accompanied by claims that Neymar felt he had to leave Barcelona to escape the shadow of Messi and give him a better chance of winning the Ballon d’Or.
However, there looked to be no animosity between the pair following the last round of World Cup qualifiers, with Neymar claiming he is happy for his former team-mate, but also disappointed that Argentina’s triumph meant Chile missed out on a place in the tournament.
“I’m happy for him,” Neymar told reporters after Brazil’s 3-0 win over Chile.
“I’m happy to see a friend participate in such an important competition. I also have friends in the Chile team but we’re men. We have to play to win every game.”
Neymar provided an assist for Gabriel Jesus’ first goal in the victory against Chile, playing 84 minutes of the clash as Brazil finished their qualifying campaign with 12 wins from 18 games at the top of the South American qualifying table.
Since moving to PSG, the 25-year-old has scored six goals in six Ligue 1 games as well as two Champions League goals in two appearances. He has also been named on the 30-man list of nominees for the Ballon d’Or alongside Messi and bookies favourite Cristiano Ronaldo.