Football News

“Neymar made a mistake leaving Barcelona” – Rivaldo

By CJ Smith

Published: 11:37, 21 June 2019

Brazil legend Rivaldo has urged his compatriot Neymar to return to Barcelona, claiming it was a mistake for the forward to ever leave the club in the first place.

Neymar sealed a £198m switch to PSG two years ago but despite scoring 51 goals in 58 games and winning four major honours, the 27-year-old has never quite seemed settled in the French capital.

And now, in light of president Nassar Al-Khelaifi’s comments about getting tough on PSG’s star players, the rumour mill has gone wild with reports linking Neymar with a switch back to Barcelona, as well as some of Europe’s other biggest clubs.

And Rivaldo, who made 235 appearances for the Blaugrana during his playing days, has called on Neymar to return to the Catalan club.

“I would love for Neymar to return,” Rivaldo told reporters.

“It would be good for Barca and for Neymar.

“It was a mistake that he left. He doesn’t say that, nor does his father, but it was. He had four or five years left on his contract at Barca and didn’t need to leave.

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“The fans didn’t want him to go. I think 70% wanted him to stay but he’s got a strong personality and if he returns, puts the ball in the back of the net, beats Real Madrid and wins a Champions League the people will forget that.

“The supporters want to win the Champions League and play well, to keep their style, and many are frustrated due to the sudden changes. He’s 27 and has a lot of years left in him yet. He could win another treble, it would be incredible.”

Arch-rivals Real Madrid are one of the other clubs rumoured to be in the race for Neymar, even though they have recently completed the signings of Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic.

But Rivaldo would prefer Neymar didn’t strengthen Los Blancos any further, adding: “I don’t know what is going to happen but I’d prefer he was in Barcelona rather than in Madrid.

“If he goes to Madrid, that isn’t good for Barca. If he goes there, they’ll be really strong.”

Neymar’s PSG mistake: Five key things to know…

  1. Neymar won nine trophies in three years at Barca alongside Messi and Suarez.
  2. That trio managed 364 goals and 173 assists during that time.
  3. But Neymar left to join PSG two years ago.
  4. He has since won four more major trophies, scoring 51 goals in 58 games.
  5. But amid links of a Barca return, Rivaldo believes he should never have left at all.