The latest injury to Neymar Jr. has many reflecting on the career of the 31-year-old. Furthermore, some are pondering whether leaving FC Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 was worth it for the Brazilian.
Current Barcelona sporting director, Deco, defended Neymar’s career. However, the club chief couldn’t help but sneak a slight jab at the French giants.
“I don’t think he was any less successful,” Deco told Brazilian media outlet Lance! (h/t Le10Sport). “He was as successful. The difference is that he wasn’t playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, namely Barcelona. He played a lot at PSG, but at Barcelona doesn’t have the same number of games. This means that players can apply for the Ballon d’Or. Neymar had fantastic seasons at PSG.
“The difference is that PSG unfortunately failed to give it the necessary dimension. Barcelona, in this sense, is a club that can project much more. I think Neymar was happy at Barcelona. He was at a fantastic time. You never know if anyone pressured him to make this decision. It’s very difficult to say, but I think he played a lot at PSG.”
For those needing a refresher, Neymar left because Barcelona would always be Lionel Messi’s team. The 6-1 win over PSG proved it, considering the 2015 UEFA Champions League winner was the driving force, but the Spanish media had Messi on the papers.
As a result, Neymar likely viewed his arrival at PSG as one where he could be the No. 1 player to win individual awards. The capital club did get close to winning the 2020 UEFA Champions League and would’ve made the Neymar transfer worth it.
However, the Ligue 1 side fell short, and while the former Barcelona star left his mark, not winning the Champions League or Ballon d’Or might be what many remember from his time.