Messi Claims Neymar is Desperate to Return to Barcelona and Regrets Leaving

Lionel Messi continues to tell anyone who will listen that Neymar Jr. wants to return to FC Barcelona and that he would welcome his friend with open arms.

This is a narrative that seemingly has existed since the summer of 2017 when Neymar left the Catalan club for the French capital after his €222 million buyout clause was paid.

Last summer, it appeared as though Neymar was on the verge of rejoining Barcelona but the La Liga giants were unable to satisfy Paris Saint-Germain’s demands and the Brazilian was forced to settle in at PSG where he has been one of the club’s best performers this season.

In an interview with Mundo Deportivo (via Bleacher Report), Messi spoke about Neymar’s departure and expressed that he hopes to see the 28-year-old wearing Barca colors soon.

“It bothered me at the time [when Neymar left] and we tried to convince him not to do it. But we all want to win and have the best players around us. He’s one of the best players in the world and he brought a lot to the team. But it’s understandable that people would see it as leaving in a bad way.”

“He is desperate to return and has always appeared to regret his decision. He did a lot to come back and that would be the first step in making it happen. He was always fine at Barca, performing at a very high level. He’s a different type of player who is difficult to stop one-on-one and score goals.”

Neymar has scored 67 goals and recorded 39 assists for PSG in 77 total appearances and has helped lead PSG to two Ligue 1 titles and a third is likely this season. However, he hasn’t delivered int he UEFA Champions League due to injury.

This season, Neymar is finally healthy for the knockout stage of the Champions League but last Tuesday, PSG fell 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund and even though the Brazilian scored, the club is now only 90 minutes away from a fourth consecutive exit in the Round of 16. If that were to happen, Messi may get his with and Neymar could be allowed to leave PSG.

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Tags Barcelona Lionel Messi Neymar transfers