Only last year, Neymar moved onto Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona, which created anxiety and unrest in almost all those hearts who have been diligently following him. The iconic trio that Barcelona had in its name, the attacking team of Neymar, Messi, and Suárez had fallen apart and nobody can tell if it would ever come back together again. It was certainly a blow to the club, his team members and most certainly to Barca fans. A lot of whom presumed that he indeed betrayed the team and went ahead for his personal conquests. There was a backlash on Twitter with both emotional and angry posts as can be seen below.
All good things come to an end, & this was beyond great!
— Superpower Football (@SuperpowerFb) August 2, 2017
— i (@jakeperzalta) October 29, 2017
Some fans went ahead and memorialized the trio, while the others had no qualms about calling him a ‘traitor’ as he visited Messi and Suárez after he shifted to PSG. Naturally, when both the hate and the concern reached Neymar’s ears, he was upset and said in an interview with ESPN:
“It’s something very crazy, but I understand the perspective of the fans. It is a passion beyond anything else, but I never disrespected the club, I never wanted anything of that. At the end, yes I am sad, but for everything that was said, everything they did, and them thinking I left them in the wrong way. I didn’t want that. Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone” and went onto say: “I am respectful, thankful for all the love from all the fans at Barcelona. I thank the team personnel for everything that they have done for me over the years and mainly the players, who have supported me in a spectacular fashion.”
This year, rumors have resurfaced about him changing the team and concerns are being voiced out. Allegedly, Real Madrid has been eyeing Neymar and there’s a chance he is in the cards for them. Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are looking to leave the club this year, leaving gaps and thus, to fill them, Real is in need of someone who could be a game-changer for them. Certainly, Neymar has the required potential.
It can be safe to say, however, that his ex-teammates are clearly not happy with the rumors of him shifting this year. Lionel Messi, Neymar’s closest associate feels that it would be ‘terrible’ if Neymar were to go on board with Real Madrid. He mentions the following to TyC Sports: “It would be terrible, because of everything he means to Barcelona”.
Messi goes onto talk about its impact on football: “Ney won important trophies here. He won the Champions League and La Liga. It would be a huge blow for everyone. It would make Real Madrid even stronger from a football point of view.”
The 30-year-old then talked about pride and faith for one’s original team and how much Barcelona means to him: “I am not tempted to leave Barcelona. I will not be better anywhere else, this is the best team in the world” and “Every year I fight to win everything. I do not need to go to another team to prove anything”. It appears as though Neymar moving out did indeed, hurt him.
According to Don Balon, allegedly, even Luis Suárez is against Neymar joining Real Madrid, but for different reasons from Messi. Suárez feels that it would make Neymar the greatest enemy of Barca fans thus making him unwelcome in the city. This could certainly be a possibility. There might be a bigger backlash if he joins Real Madrid because that would make the team very strong against Barca and it would incite conflict and the traitor tag might never leave Neymar. For now, PSG isn’t causing any damage to Barca and hence, the danger is not imminent, but when faced directly with someone who was once your friend, the rage is stronger.
There was a poll done online by SiriusXM FC 157, USA’s only 24/7 Soccer radio station. It was regarding which team Neymar would be a part of. It yielded the following results:
Where will #Neymar play next season?
— SiriusXM FC 157 ⚽📻 (@SiriusXMFC) May 16, 2018
Guillen Balage, a Spanish Football Journalist mentioned in his SkySports column: “There has been a lot of talk on Neymar and how Real want to get him away from PSG,”. However, he also mentions that PSG letting go of him is highly unlikely and President Nasser Al-Khelaifi himself said that Neymar would be “2000 percent” staying back. Looks like a very strong predicament. Balage also says:
“Real would quite clearly like to get Neymar on board, but I don’t think it is going to be possible this summer. From PSG the message is clear: he is going to stay. He has taken a picture with the new shirt, saying he’s looking forward to wearing the shirt with PSG. Yes, he may be playing a game, but it seems like the pressure is not on him leaving this summer, but perhaps the summer after.”
By making these statements the author and Pandit make it very clear that this year Neymar would be sticking around and would attempt to pull up PSG’s performance. However, possibly next year, he might. The credibility of this statement increases since Real Madrid has been reportedly wanting to have Neymar on board since his Santos days. So, next year looks like a fair chance.
Even Ronaldo Nazario, the retired Brazilian footballer expressed his ideas about this situation at the El Larguero radio show: “[Neymar] joined PSG recently for a big fee, and I don’t believe PSG need money. So even if Real Madrid makes a very big offer, it won’t change their minds. At the moment, I think it’s impossible for Neymar to play at Real Madrid. Maybe in a few years. He is still young, but at the moment, impossible. I believe he likes it in Paris, he wanted a change [from Barca] and knew what was going to happen”.
Overall, it looks like Neymar is going to be around this year, but who can tell what the future holds!