The possibility of a return to the Camp Nou is nothing more than a pipe dream for the Brazilian, who is currently preparing to end his career in the Middle East.
Neymar first appeared to the Barcelona fans in December 2011, when he lined up to face them for Santos in the Club World Cup final. The match was seen as a duel between the 19-year-old and Lionel Messi, which then-Santos head coach Muricy Ramalho tried his best to rely on.
“It won’t be long before he’s going to be the best in the world,” Ramalho said at his pre-match press conference. “Both are the same, but Neymar is a bit more special. His style turns the ball around when he does it, while Messi dribbles more in a straight line. Neymar is unpredictable. You don’t find anyone. in the world is like doing what he can with the ball.”
Ramalho blushed as Messi scored twice in an all-out 4-0 win for Barcelona as he watched Neymar as a tiny spectator. But the teenager, who has also been dubbed the ‘next Pele’, will have the opportunity to work alongside Messi at Camp Nou about 18 months later.
Barca paid 57 million euros (£51 million/$65 million) to sign Neymar, who was also a target of Real Madrid, and it was a bargain fee. He has impressed during his time in Catalunya, and has enjoyed a great partnership with Messi, who has helped bring about a host of major trophies.
But Neymar never surpassed Messi to become the best player in the world, and that was what eventually led him to accept a world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017. He wanted to step out of that. the ball of the Argentine player and put himself in the lead. won his first Ballon d’Or.
Neymar doesn’t see the bigger picture. He already has an ego, but it was overblown after PSG made a staggering offer of €220m (£190m/241m). Barca offers everything Neymar needs to achieve his lofty career ambitions and he is loved by the fans. He traded all of that for what he saw as the fast track to greatness in France.
Certainly, things did not go well for Neymar at PSG. After six seasons of disappointment and controversy, he is set to finalize his departure from the Parc des Princes, which was originally believed to be his preferred destination. But even if they can afford to re-sign Neymar, they don’t deserve a second chance. Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal group has instead reached an agreement for the 31-year-old, and the fact that a move to the Middle East is the only realistic option on the table – says a lot. about how far he has fallen.