Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has reiterated his desire to see Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar return to Barcelona, claiming that the Brazilian 'can't wait' to swap the Parc des Princes for the Camp Nou…
In a long interview with Mundo Deportivo, highly influential Barcelona legend Messi made it clear that he wished to see Neymar - whose €222m transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 set a world record yet to be beaten - return to Catalonia.
Messi: 'He can't wait to come back'
Despite the fact that Neymar has openly declared that he is happy and well in the French capital, he did make an overt attempt to return to Barcelona last summer, and Messi believes that the desire remains.
"He always showed that he was sorry for leaving, and he can't wait to come back," insisted the Argentine striker, evidently still close with the Brazilian. "Neymar is a top player, different from the others, capable of creating an overlap, making the difference one-on-one and scoring goals."
Stamp of approval
On top of this, Messi - hugely influential at the Catalan club, as his recent clash with sporting director Eric Abidal demonstrated - personally wants Neymar reinstated with the Blaugrana.
"I've said it several times, he's one of the best players in the world and I'd like him to come back," said the six-time Ballon d'Or winner. "He's a very happy person, he was always in a good mood and had fun both on and off the pitch."
Neymar's contract with Paris Saint-Germain is set to run through to 2022, but Messi evidently believes that Barcelona should make the effort to bring him back, despite the rancour that remains with some of the clubs fans after a dramatic exit in 2017.
"It also bothered me at the time," admitted Messi of the strong-arm tactics used by the Brazilian, who wanted to step out of the Argentine's shadow at a new club. "We tried to dissuade him from doing so. But at the end of the day, both we and the fans want to win and have the best players. As I said, he's one of them and he brought us a lot on the pitch."
After making his return from a four-match injury absence in Tuesday night's 2-1 UEFA Champions League loss in Dortmund, Neymar's next appearance should come in Sunday's Ligue 1 Conforama clash with Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes.