Football News

Neymar lauds “friend” Lionel Messi the GOAT as Barcelona links intensify

By Ben Green

Published: 14:26, 18 July 2019

Wantaway Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has waded in on the GOAT debate by branding former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi “the best”. 

The duo played together at the Camp Nou for four years between 2013 and 2017, winning two La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys and the Champions League trophy.

Could Neymar leave PSG? Five things to know…

  • Neymar has been linked with a return to Barca after failing to report on time for PSG’s pre-season training.
  • As such, PSG sporting director Leonardo has already stated that Neymar can leave the club, but only for the right price.
  • PSG president Nassar Al-Khelaifi has also added to the rumours by suggesting he wants to stamp out the “superstar behaviour” at the club.
  • Neymar recently angered PSG fans by declaring that Barca’s ‘Remontada’ over the Parisians is his favourite footballing memory.
  • The Brazilian has once again sparked rumours of a move by heaping praise on Messi.

Neymar has been consistently linked with a return to Catalonia this summer after he failed to turn up on time for PSG’s pre-season training, despite having an extended lay-off for Brazil’s Copa America triumph due to injury.

PSG manager Thomas Tuchel has already conceded he “knew that Neymar wanted to leave before the Copa America”, and the 27-year-old has once again fanned the flames by hinting at a rekindling of his relationship with Messi on the pitch.

“For me, he’s the best player in the world. The best player that I’ve ever seen play,” he said.

“We made a magnificent duo. It was a pleasure for me, an honour to play with him. And, on top of that, he is my friend.”

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Tuchel expects Neymar to join pre-season tour

Neymar failed to take part in the Ligue 1 champion’s first pre-season match against Dynamo Dresden on Tuesday as he continues to recover from the ankle injury that kept him out of the Copa America.

However, Tuchel has confirmed that the 97-time Brazil international returned to training on Monday and will more than likely join up with the rest of the squad for the club’s summer tour of Asia.

“Will he go on the pre-season tour of China? I think so,” he said.

“Neymar returned on Monday and he, like the rest of the players, has to do the tests. Intensive but necessary, because we must have the results for the planning, the others have worked a week to be ready to play, then Neymar will be ready to train.”