Record breaking move: Neymar left Barca out of respect for Messi, says father
Neymar Sr says his son made the world record €222m move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain out of respect for the Blaugrana talisman, Leo Messi.
The 25-year-old Neymar Jr last week moved to the Ligue 1 side on a five-year deal reportedly worth €600,000 (£540,000) per week after tax.
Though many analysts have opined that the Brazillian left the Nou Camp for the money, his father claimed his son left because he did not want to challenge the status of Messi out of respect for his teammate.
Speaking in a COPE report, Neymar Sr said, “Imagine a place where you are the protagonist of a club, where you are the idol of that club and everyone wants to transform you into the star that you do not want to be.
“Messi is the star and will always be the star. Not only because of the love and respect that Neymar has for Leo, he is his idol. Imagine that everyone said that Neymar has to be Messi’s substitute, he does not want to be his substitute. You have to leave Messi, he is the idol at Barcelona.
“Neymar has to make his own way and accept the challenge he has. I think my son has been a man, shown respect [to Messi] and now he has to go his own way. He could go to any club and be in the spotlight, not that he wants to be number one.
“He is taking a risk. Can PSG guarantee him the Ballon d’Or? No. And it is crazy that people believe that. It would be easier at Barca, with the help of that team.”Punch