Barcelona icon Lionel Messi had paid tribute to Neymar on social media as the Brazilian superstar nears his seismic world record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Samba star is expected to complete a €222m move to France by the end of the week after the La Liga giants confirmed on Wednesday morning that the player had formally informed the club of his interest to leave Camp Nou.

Much has been made about the relationship between Messi and Neymar and the frustration the latter has felt at being in the shadow of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

But Messi, rumoured to be one of the Barça player who urged Neymar to stay at Camp Nou along with Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez, took to Instagram to publicly thank his soon-to-be former colleague for the four years they’ve spent together, wishing him luck for the future.

“It was an enormous pleasure to have shared all these years with you friend @NeymarJr,” Messi posted alongside a picture compilation video of the pair together.

“I wish you luck in this new stage of your life,” he added.