Neymar was a key member of Barcelona’s famed ‘MSN’ forward trio, alongside Messi and Luis Suarez, helping the club to two LaLiga titles and the Champions League among others.
The Calatan giants lost Neymar in the off-season after French giants Paris Saint-Germain sensationally activated his €222million release clause in August.
But five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi said Barca – unbeaten and 11 points clear atop the table – are better without the Brazil star.
“Without Neymar we are more balanced,” Messi told World Soccer.
“His departure meant a change in our way of playing, we lost a lot of attacking potential, but it helped in the defensive sense.
“We are currently very well armed in the midfield; this makes us stronger in defence.”