Lionel Messi and Neymar have played alongside each other for four years Image: AFP
Months after Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona, rumours of him returning to Spain have started doing the rounds. But it isn't his former club which is being touted as his possible destination. The rumours are linking the Brazilian ace to Spanish giants Real Madrid — Barca's arch-rivals.
If the transfer transpires, it will be a hard pill to swallow for Catalan fans and even Lionel Messi is no exception.
Neymar’s former teammate Messi, in an interview with Argentine TV channel TyC Sports, said, "It would be terrible, because of everything he means to Barcelona. Ney won important trophies here. He won the Champions League and La Liga. It would be a huge blow for everyone. It would make Real Madrid even stronger from a football point of view."
Incidentally, Neymar had reportedly said he’d return to Barcelona if Messi requested him to.
When asked if he was open to a move from Barca after playing for the senior team for 14 long years, Messi said, “I am not tempted to leave Barcelona. I will not be better anywhere else, this is the best team in the world. Every year I fight to win everything. I do not need to go to another team to prove anything."
We may not see Messi and Neymar team up for Barcelona anytime soon, but the two global superstars may very well lock horns at the upcoming World Cup in Russia.
Messi's Argentina is part of Group D while Brazil has been drawn in Group E of the tournament. The two teams may face each other if they make it through the group phase — something they are surely expected to do.