Messi wanted Neymar back at Barcelona

Brazilian ‘would have increased our chances of getting the results that we all want’ says striker

Barcelona’s Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi celebrate a goal  at Camp Nou stadium. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Barcelona’s Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi celebrate a goal at Camp Nou stadium. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

 

Lionel Messi says he wanted Neymar to return to Barcelona this year as the Brazilian would have helped the club take a leap forward, adding that his former team mate was looking forward to rejoining the La Liga champions.

Barca spent the bulk of the close season negotiating with Paris St Germain to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou two years after he left for a world record €222 million but the Catalans failed to strike a deal with the Ligue 1 champions. “The truth is I would have loved him to come back to us,” Barca captain

Messi told Spanish newspaper Sport yesterday. “I understand some people were against it and that’s normal considering everything that happened and how he left us, but thinking about it on a sporting level, for me Neymar is one of the best players in the world.

“Obviously he would have increased our chances of getting the results that we all want. The club would have taken a leap forward, in terms of sponsors, our image, our growth, but in the end it didn’t happen.”

Difficult

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said last week that the club did everything possible to sign Neymar, but admitted they could not meet PSG’s asking price for the forward, who hit 105 goals in four seasons for the Catalans.

“I don’t know what happened with the directors, I know they were speaking with Neymar, he told me how things were going. He was really looking forward to coming back,”

Messi, who has been unable to play this season due to a calf injury, said: “I understand it’s difficult to negotiate with PSG and with Neymar because he’s one of the best. These negotiations are never easy.”

Barca’s all-time top scorer also said he had no plans to quit the Catalans any time soon after it was confirmed by the club that his contract contains a clause that allows him to decide at the end of each season whether he wants to leave for free.

“I can say that I want to be at Barcelona for as long as I can and end my career here because this is my home,” he said. “I want to stay here if I can stay in good shape, play well, feel important and if I see we have a winning project.” – Reuters

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.