Former Barcelona star Ronaldinho has encouraged his compatriot and current Blaugrana favourite Neymar to “follow his heart” when it comes to a possible move to Real Madrid.
Ronaldinho became the best player on the planet during his stint with the Catalan giants and is still revered at the Camp Nou. However, it’ll be interesting to see how these latest comments go down among the Barcelona supporters, as he told Cadena Ser (h/t John Downes of the MailOnline) that Neymar should do whatever makes him happy in respect of a move to archrivals Real:
Neymar to Madrid? I want him to be happy, he's a friend.
I would love him to continue at [Barcelona] and keep making history, but I'm not going to advise him to stay or go, he should just follow his heart.
In happiness there is advice, because what is good for one is not always good for another.
As noted by Downes, according to Spanish daily ABC, Los Blancos are said to be the side who made a massive offer to sign Neymar from Barcelona, something the player’s father brought up in court earlier this week. However, Neymar's father said in an interview with Spanish radio station COPE that it was Manchester United who made an offer, as reported by Sky Sports.
Neymar will be hoping to eventually be remembered in the same kind of stature as Ronaldinho, who was a sensational forward at full tilt. As we can see here, the 24-year-old plays the game with a freedom and an enjoyment that compares to his compatriot:
Although Ronaldinho declined to encourage Neymar to not move to Real, it’d be a huge surprise if such a deal was to ever go ahead.
After all, the current Barcelona No. 11 is well on his way to becoming the finest player on the planet in what is a remarkable team. While Real Madrid are always challenging for the top honours in the game, the Blaugrana, spearheaded by the talents of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, look unstoppable in their pursuit of more silverware.
Indeed, from a footballing point of view, Spanish football expert Rafael Hernandez doesn’t think the Brazilian could ask for much more:
Neymar as a player has everything that he could ask for at Barça, Real Madrid would be a step down, literally add nothing to what he has.— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) January 20, 2016
Not only is he winning trophies regularly with Barcelona, having lifted five in 2015, Neymar is continuing to improve as a footballer. His haul of 16 goals and nine assists in La Liga this season is impressive, but arguably even more encouraging is his willingness to drive this side forward and shoulder responsibility.
He’s still young as well, turning 24 on Friday, and as we can see here courtesy of uMAXit Football, Neymar compares pretty well to Messi when the pair were at the same age:
Interesting comparison of Neymar and Messi at 24. pic.twitter.com/DQ5mtcSTlm— uMAXit Football (@uMAXitFootball) February 5, 2016
The reason why players like Neymar and Ronaldinho are almost universally acclaimed is because they play football with an expression that is scarce in the modern game. It’s exhibitionism that, should the former make a money-spinning move to Madrid, could easily be lost among the pressures of such a significant transfer.
For Neymar, if he wants to continue loving his football, scoring goals and winning trophies, there’s no better place to play than at the Camp Nou. Surely, as this transfer furore continues to rumble on, that is what his heart will be telling him, too.