Lionel Messi is still hoping for Neymar’s return to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain, Sky Sports reports. In an interview with Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo, Messi spoke about a wide range of topics, which also included his recent spat with Eric Abidal. The Argentinean also revealed that he had no intentions of leaving Camp Nou this summer, while also giving his opinion on Manchester City’s UEFA ban.
However, the biggest reveal of the interview was Messi’s yearning to team up once again with his South American compatriot Neymar, who played at Barcelona for four seasons. The Brazilian went on to join PSG in the summer of 2017 and even though Barcelona attempted to bring him back to Camp Nou last summer, a move never materialized.
However, Messi said in the interview that he was hoping that the Catalans can manage to bring Neymar back this summer and also expressed a belief that his countryman Lautaro Martinez would be the perfect striker partner for Luis Suarez.
Messi believes Neymar still wants to return to Camp Nou
The Argentinean acknowledged the Brazilian’s qualities on the field and revealed that he would love to have Neymar back in Barcelona. He also said that Neymar can lift the mood of the players in the squad.
Neymar is one of the best in the world and I'd love him to come back. He is a very happy person who is always smiling and enjoys himself on and off the pitch. He gave all the players a lift.
Messi also spoke about the fan resentment towards Neymar and said that it was normal for fans to feel betrayed because of the way the Brazilian parted ways with the club. He also revealed that the club left no stones unturned to convince Neymar to stay before his move to PSG.
It's normal for the fans to feel [resentment about his possible return] because of the way he left, and that also bothered me at the time because we tried to do everything possible to try to convince him not to do it.
The Argentinean expressed a belief that Neymar wants to return to Barcelona at the moment, saying that the Brazilian was apologetic for his departure and revealing that he wanted to return to Camp Nou last summer. Messi also went on to mention that the first step for Neymar to win back the fans would be to apologize to them.
I think Neymar really wants to come back. He's sorry about what he did and last year he tried hard to come back. I think that [apologising] would be the first step he would take to try to make it happen
One thing is certain, if Barcelona do manage to bring Neymar back this summer, Messi will be a happy man.