Neymar not good enough
The Barcelona presidential race is gaining momentum, but one candidate has ruled out plans to re-sign former Blaugrana star Neymar.
Toni Freixa spoke to the media this week regarding his plans, with one claim having stood out above all others: “Neymar, due to his performance, is not even among the 30 best players in Europe,” said Freixa.
Neymar left Barcelona in 2017 in a £200 million deal which shocked the footballing world. He had previously formed third of the formidable MSN trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and the Brazilian. Winning the treble under Luis Enrique, Neymar’s departure was the beginning of a decline for the Catalan side.
The money reinvested from Neymar’s sale has proven something of a disaster, with the La Liga runners-up from last season having slowly fallen behind Real Madrid. In turn, Barca had been linked with a move to re-sign Neymar.
Former president Sandro Rosell, who oversaw Neymar’s controversial purchase and later left due of the fallout, confirmed that he would be keen to sign the South American again: “From a sporting point of view, I would sign Neymar,” said Rosell.
Freixa, though, is of a very different point of view: “If I were president, I would not sign him,” the candidate remarked.
No sleep lost over Messi exit
Freixa also spoke about Lionel Messi’s current situation at the club, and admitted that he will not lose sleep over the prospect of the Argentine’s departure.
Messi has spoken publicly several times about his situation, and his frustration with bearing the brunt of the blame for Barcelona’s recent struggles.
Speaking to media at an airport during the international break, he explained: “The truth is that I’m a little tired of always being the problem for everything at the club.”
The Blaugrana sit 13th in the La Liga table, with 11 points after 8 games. Having lost to both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid already this season, they look huge outsiders to reclaim their title following Los Blancos’ success in 2020.
Nevertheless, the prospect of Messi moving on is evidently not a pressing issue for Freixa, who added: “The most important thing for the club is self Barcelona . We do not depend on anyone.”
“Messi has been everything and have to follow my will is to continue, but someday will have to leave. And the day that happens, hopefully it never, but it is not a question that will keep me awake.”
Messi’s contract at the Camp Nou expires at the end of the current campaign, with it yet to be seen whether this will indeed prove his final year with Barcelona,
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This article was edited by Conor Laird.