Neymar Held 'Normal' Conversation with Barcelona President at FIFA Awards

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2017

Nominee for the Best FIFA football player Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar poses for a photograph as he arrives for The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony, on October 23, 2017 in London. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK        (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
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Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar claimed he and Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu held a "normal" conversation at the Best FIFA awards on Monday in the pair's first meeting since the forward's Camp Nou departure.

The Brazil international said he also spoke with former Blaugrana team-mate Lionel Messi as they were both beaten to the 2017 Best FIFA Men's Player award by Cristiano Ronaldo at a ceremony in London, per Radio Marca (via Goal's Peter Staunton): "I spoke to Bartomeu in a normal fashion. [Messi and I] didn't speak about football, only other things. He is my friend and wherever we are, we will be together."

In the wake of Neymar's shock £200 million move from Barca to PSG in the summer, he and Bartomeu had traded barbs.

Bartomeu reacted to the 25-year-old's departure by accusing the player and his father of conducting themselves poorly.

"We made the mistake of trusting Neymar and his father too much," he said at the time, per The Independent's Samuel Lovett.

FC Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu arrives to give a press conference at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 2, 2017.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed today two of the club's board members resigned in the wake of his
JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

He also questioned Neymar's motives for leaving, per Lovett: 

"He did not act with the right decorum. I do not know [why he left]. You should ask him. He did not tell us. 

"For money? To lead a sporting project? Here, he was at the best club in the world surrounded by many of the best players in the world and without a doubt, that is Messi. 

"But I do not know why he did not explain it to us. He paid the clause and left."

In response, Neymar took to Instagram and commented on a post referring to Bartomeu: "This president is a joke."

It also emerged in the wake of Neymar's departure from Barca that the Catalan club planned to sue the former Santos star for breach of contract, per Sid Lowe in the Guardian.

Given the circumstances it would have been no surprise if Neymar and Bartomeu had avoided one another at the FIFA awards ceremony in London on Monday.

Neymar came third in the voting on the night, with Messi second and Ronaldo a convincing winner:

The Portuguese will be the man to topple next year, and Neymar will likely be eager to lead his new PSG side to success in 2017-18 in the hope of breaking Ronaldo and Messi's stranglehold on football's individual gongs.