Lionel Messi News: Barcelona star is 'essential' to La Liga while Ronaldo and Neymar are not, claims Javier Tebas
What's the story?
La Liga president Javier Tebas has claimed that both Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo are not as important to the Spanish top-flight as Lionel Messi but maintains that he would like to see the Paris Saint-Germain star return to Spain.
In case you didn't know...
Neymar has been heavily linked with a move back to La Liga this summer, with reports intensifying, courtesy of his absence from PSG's first three games of the new Ligue 1 campaign.
While the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus have been reported to be interested in the Brazil international, a return to the Camp Nou has been tipped to be the most likely possibility.
The future of the 27-year-old remains uncertain as the French giants are trying to put a stop to the seemingly never-ending saga.
Neymar formed one of the most lethal attacking trios during his time at Barcelona, alongside Luis Suarez and Messi. While he made a record-breaking move to PSG in 2017, his former teammates remained at Barcelona and have since helped the side to a series of titles.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo ended his trophy-laden nine-year stint with Real Madrid to join Serie A titans Juventus last summer.
The heart of the matter
Tebas has admitted that while he would like to see Neymar back in La Liga, the Brazilian's presence would not be as essential as that of Messi.
When asked about the transfer in an interview with Marca, he said,
"Yes, of course [I'd like Neymar to return]. With his qualities, he's in the top three players in the world. It would be very important for La Liga if he came again, although it wouldn't be defining for the Spanish league.
"The defining thing is that we play 10 months a year, with 20 clubs each playing each other and generating passion and joy each weekend for fans in Spain and across the world.
"A player like Neymar gives you a following in countries that look out for him, but he's not an essential element, not even Cristiano Ronaldo was. Lionel Messi, on the other hand, is an essential element because he's the heritage of La Liga."
It remains to be seen where Neymar will ultimately play his football at the end of the saga as the interested parties also face the issue of Financial Fair Play in their fight for his signature.