If it seems like Lionel Messi says something about Neymar Jr., it’s because he does.
In an interview with RAC1 and translated by Marca, Messi said that he thought Neymar would go to Real Madrid if he didn’t sign for Barcelona. Shortly after the summer transfer window closed, Messi once again spoke about Neymar, this time to Sport, and claimed that he didn’t think Barcelona did everything possible to sign the Brazilian.
That last quote is in line with his most recent comments regarding Neymar. In an interview with Andy K of Perros de la Calle, via Mundo Deportivo, Messi acknowledged Barca’s signing of Neymar “is complicated.”
“First, because it is difficult to get out of [PSG] and second because of how he left [Barcelona],” Messi said. “There are people at the club and members who don’t want him to come back. If it is a sports level, Neymar is one of the best in the world and it would be great for us, but the other part is also understandable.”
It’s no secret that some executives at the Catalan club do not want Neymar to return to the Camp Nou and would prefer to allow Ansu Fati to continue developing as reported by Mundo Deportivo. If Neymar were to return, he would occupy the same position as the 16-year-old phenom.
Even if Messi is being honest here, I don’t think it’s a good look for him to continue speaking about players who are not on his team. I already offered my public relations advice to both Messi and Gerard Piqué in a piece I wrote recently. Essentially, they should take a page out of the book of New England Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick. When a reporter asks you about something that doesn’t involve your team or the upcoming match, you give a one or two-word answer and move on. “On to Eibar” could be the new “On to Cincinnati!” Need another example, Messi? Here is Belichick’s response when asked about Antonio Brown:
By constantly talking about Neymar, you come across as a desperate ex-teammate who hasn’t gotten over his departure. You’re arguably the greatest footballer to ever play the game. This should be beneath you.
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