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Messi wanted Neymar back at Barça

Published:Friday | September 13, 2019 | 12:31 AM
In this 2015 photo, Neymar (centre), then of Barcelona, celebrates a goal scored against Atlético Madrid with teammates Lionel Messi (right) and Luis Suarez during a La Liga match at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain.
In this 2015 photo, Neymar (centre), then of Barcelona, celebrates a goal scored against Atlético Madrid with teammates Lionel Messi (right) and Luis Suarez during a La Liga match at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain.

BARCELONA, Spain (AP):

Lionel Messi says that he is not certain Barcelona did all they could to re-sign Neymar in the summer.

Messi told the Spanish daily Sport that he “would have loved to see Neymar” back with Barcelona, but he doesn’t “know if Barça did everything possible for his return”. He recognised, though, that “certainly, it’s not easy to negotiate” with Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi said that “Neymar is one of the best in the world” and that his signing also would have helped the Spanish club reach another level regarding its image and its relationship with sponsors.

NO FORMAL INVITATION

Messi said in the interview, published yesterday, that he was always in contact with Neymar and that the Brazilian forward “really wanted to come” to Barcelona.

Messi said Barcelona players never formally asked for Neymar’s return, “We simply gave our opinion.” He said the fact that the Brazilian didn’t arrive made it clear that he was not the one calling the shots at Barcelona, as many suggested.

Despite Barcelona’s failure to attract Neymar, Messi said that he was not disappointed and believed Barcelona still have a “spectacular squad”.

Messi said he doesn’t intend to leave Barcelona and wants to keep winning with the club. He said that the most important thing for him is “to be part of a winning project”.

Messi is yet to play for Barcelona this season because of a muscle injury.