Former Barcelona captain Xavi has revealed that Neymar broke the news that he wanted out at Barcelona during Lionel Messi’s wedding.
Reports of Neymar wanting out in the summer, and the links to PSG looked to be more transfer window bollocks, to begin with but things really gathered pace and by August 3, Neymar joined PSG until 2022 for a world record £198 million fee.
But according to Xavi, Neymar had made his intentions be known a month prior at Lionel Messi’s wedding, when the five-time Ballon d’Or tied the knot with long-time partner Antonella Roccuzzo in Argentina.
The Brazilian told his teammates of his desire to leave.
Speaking on the BBC’s World Football programme, Xavi, who played over 700 games for his beloved Barcelona and won eight La Liga titles as well as four Champions League trophies, said:
“He said to us in Messi’s wedding that he wanted to change, he wanted to change the club and I said to him, ‘but why?’. [His response was] ‘well I am not happy in Barcelona, I prefer to have a new experience in Europe with Paris Saint-Germain’.
“It was his decision, we must respect it. And I think with Neymar, with [Kylian] Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain has a great chance to win the Champions League.”
Since his move to the French capital, Neymar has been utterly unplayable. The 25-year old has nine goals and seven assists in all competitions, and has formed a formidable partnership with fellow big-money mover Kylian Mbappe.
During Wednesday’s Champions League Group stage tie against Anderlecht, the pair gave us a lesson in how the beautiful game should be played.
Unai Emery’s side maintained their 100 per cent record in this season’s Champions League with a 4-0 win at Anderlecht side, as the potentially attacking qualities of a £420 million front line looked unstoppable at the Constant Vanden Stock.