Lionel Messi has confirmed that Neymar “really wants to come back to Barcelona” and that him along with his colleagues tried their best to convince the Brazilian superstar for an epic return last summer. The 28-year-old Neymar, has been constantly linked with a return to his former club since he joined Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million in August 2017.
“It bothered me at the time and we tried to convince him not to do it. But we all want to win and have the best players around us. He’s one of the best players in the world and he brought a lot to the team. But it’s understandable that people would see it as leaving in a bad way.”
“He is desperate to return and has always appeared to regret his decision. He did a lot to come back and that would be the first step in making it happen. He was always fine at Barca, performing at a very high level. He’s a different type of player who is difficult to stop one-on-one and scores goals” the six-time Balon D’Or-winner said.
Back in 2015 Neymar formed the famous trident of ‘MSN’ with Messi and Luis Suarez for three seasons, and won the treble in 2015. However, a couple of years later PSG triggered the Brazilian’s 222 million euros release clause angering the Blaugrana faithful and since his arrival at the French capital, Neymar netted 67 times while assisting further 39 in 77 total appearances for PSG. During this period, he won two Ligue 1 titles and a third one seemingly on its way as the Parisians lead the table by 10 points.
“At the end of the day we all want to win and have the best players and so do the fans. As I’ve said before, he’s one of the best players around and gave us a lot on the pitch.”
Meanwhile, in La Liga the Catalan giants trail los Blancos by a single point, but the Argentinian Superstar is focused on Champions League, a title which hasn’t returned to the Camp Nou since 2015.
“This year us and Real Madrid have both been inconsistent in the title race but I think we’ll be fighting each other until the end of the season,” Messi added.
“But if we want to win the Champions League we have to keep growing a lot more as a team because I think right now in the shape we are in we will not be able to challenge for it.”
Five-time Champions League winner FC Barcelona face Serie A side Napoli in the first leg of the last 16, on Tuesday 25 February.
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