FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi regrets that his club failed to complete the mega transfer of Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar this summer.
"I would have loved it if Neymar had returned to Barcelona," said 32-year-old Messi on Thursday in an interview with the Catalan newspaper SPORT .
"I understand that there were people against his return because of the way 'Ney' left here. But if you look at it purely sportingly, I think Neymar is one of the best players in the world. If he was on our team, the chances that we would achieve our goals are greater. It would have given the entire club a boost. "
The 27-year-old Neymar scored 105 goals in 186 duels for Barcelona between 2013 and 2017, but then left for a record amount of 222 million euros for PSG.
The Brazilian is tired of the French top club after two years and hoped to return to Catalonia this summer. PSG and Barcelona also negotiated a mega transfer, but they couldn't work it out.
"To be honest, I don't know if Barcelona has done everything possible to get Neymar," said Messi. "I don't have much information about the negotiations. I did talk to 'Ney' and know that he really wanted to return. But I understand that it is very difficult to negotiate with PSG."
Neymar and Lionel Messi played together for four years at Barcelona. (Photo: Pro Shots)
"I don't decide what happens at Barcelona"
Spanish newspapers have speculated in recent months that the Barcelona selection had urged management to bring Neymar back. "We gave our opinion, but we never said they had to record it," says Messi.
The Argentinian emphasizes that he has no major influence on the policy of "Barça". "I am now used to hearing that I decide what the club does. I don't really pay attention to those stories, I know the truth. Of course I don't determine what happens at Barcelona. I am just a player and I want to only win competitions and prizes. "
Messi hasn't played a game for Barcelona this season due to an injury. The attacker will also not come into action in the home game with Valencia on Saturday. He does not yet know whether he will be fit for the start of the Champions League group stage, visiting Borussia Dortmund next Tuesday.
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