Is Neymar really leaving ?

Is it transfer silly season or should i actually believe this. Every sports publication is saying that Neymar is about sign for PSG for a world record €222 million fee which is his buyout clause. I just saw a video of him walking out of training after getting in a little argument with a teammate which is fuelling the rumours. I find it hard to believe that Neymar is really leaving Barcelona. Whenever one of the most important players at Barcelona or Real Madrid says they are about to leave it’s usually a ploy to earn more money, a power move or to let the club know that they are valuable and that they have interest from other teams. Look at previous examples with Ramos, Ronaldo, Messi and Bale. The big two clubs never let them go especially those in their prime. 

If you look at the times these clubs have sold for big money it’s because those players weren’t first team players like Alexis, Di Maria, Ozil, Fabregas and Morata. Neymar is clearly not only one of the best players in the world but a key player for the club. His skills are unique even to Barcelona, he’s a silky, skillful dribbler with almost perfect technique. His skill on the ball brings so much attention to him from defenders, even more than Messi. He is still only 25 so isn’t even in his prime yet so personally I don’t see him being sold. The team he is being linked with PSG surprises me because it isn’t the best league even though they have competition with Monaco. There are a lot of Brazilian players on the team right now but winning the league won’t get him the recognition unless they get to a Champions League final. 

Looking at why he would want to leave the best team of the last 20 years I could only think of 2 reasons. More money or to star on his own away from Messi. The first point about more money could be something considering it is reported that he could be earning 3 times more than what he is currently on at Barca. It is also reported that he will receive €40 million fee if he signs which would turn anyone’s head. I think this is a factor but the main reason i think he is looking elsewhere is to gain more recognition. Even though he is a superstar and earns a lot of money, he will never be the star of the show whilst Messi is around. This has been a problem for many great players in the past like Ronaldinho, Zlatan and Villa. They have all been sidelined for Messi which is understandable but for those players is obviously a problem. Neymar wants to win a Ballon d’Or and to be recognised as the best player in the world. To do this he has to be main player upfront which isn’t happening right now. There have been moments where he has led the team and played amazing but Messi’ s aura will always overshadow him. Messi is only 30 so he will still be great for the upcoming years. It’s clear to see that both players love and respect each other but I respect Neymar’s view. The only problem I have is going to PSG which I don’t think will put him on Messi and Ronaldo’s level. 

I do think in the coming years Neymar will slowly evolve in to the main player as he gets better. Being the best player at Barcelona is a completely different feeling to playing for PSG. Think of the players who starred for them Messi, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Ronaldo. Winning trophies there puts you in a completely different space compared to other clubs. They are legends of the game because of what they achieved at Barcelona. For this I think unless a team from another league comes in he should stay at the club and regain the league from Real Madrid.

Neymar has acknowledged that this upcoming year is the most important of his career. He isn’t a young player anymore and the World Cup on the horizon. So far he has won everything for Barcelona including the treble in 2015 where he was the best player in the Champions League that season. He is already the fourth highest scorer in Brazil history and finished 3rd in the Ballon d’Or. I can see him becoming the best player in the world very soon. That game against PSG was all about Neymar leading the team back from the dead. What he did in those final 20 minutes was amazing. I think the situation he is at right now is him trying to accelerate that and separating himself from being Messi’s understudy. 

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