Neymar Real Madrid Rumours 'Not Nice' for Cristiano Ronaldo, Says PSG Director

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:   Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are named in The Fifa FifPro World XI during The Best FIFA Football Awards Show on October 23, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Antero Henrique has criticised Real Madrid president Florentino Perez for talking about potentially signing Neymar, insisting the speculation is "not very nice" for Los Blancos star Cristiano Ronaldo

Perez said Neymar would stand a better chance of winning the coveted Ballon d'Or if he played in Madrid earlier this month, a prize Ronaldo recently clinched for a fifth time.

Speaking with Le Parisien (h/t Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC), Henrique insisted the comments were in poor taste with regards to PSG and Ronaldo himself.

"Talking about a player from another club on the same day [Ronaldo] picked up his fifth Ballon d'Or was not very nice for his own player," said the director.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Sporting Director of PSG Antero Henrique before the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic Glasgow and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) at Celtic Park on September 12, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Additionally, in the same interview Henrique dismissed speculation linking Neymar with a move to Real, suggesting the Brazilian "loves the club and is doing very well here."

As relayed by the UEFA Champions League Twitter account, Ronaldo has enjoyed a tremendous year, capped off by the recent Ballon d'Or:

UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague

Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017: #UCL winner for 4th time 🏆🏆🏆🏆 51 goals for club & country ⚽️ #UCL group stage top scorer 2017/18 💪 Ballon d'Or winner for 5th time 🖐 All-time favourite Real Madrid forward? https://t.co/QXoBG9Kw0m

Despite their wealth of attacking talent, links have emerged between Madrid and Neymar lately amid some speculation the forward isn't totally content with life in Paris. 

Per PA Sport (h/t Sky Sports), it was reported earlier in the season that the Brazilian advised former Barcelona team-mates Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique that he regretted leaving the Camp Nou, while Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said he'd be happy to see Neymar move to the Santiago Bernabeu in the future.

If Neymar isn't content with life in France that's not been reflected in his performances since arriving at the club. As noted by OptaJean, alongside Kylian Mbappe, he's given PSG a potent threat in the final third:

OptaJean @OptaJean

2 - Games with at least 1 goal AND 1 assist in the Top 5 European leagues this season: 🇧🇷Neymar 6 🇫🇷Kylian Mbappé 5 🇩🇪Leroy Sané 4 Versatile. https://t.co/7r9e8XIRiG

At the moment PSG look capable of strolling to the Ligue 1 title—they lead holders Monaco by nine points—and are among the favourites for the Champions League.

Neymar has been exceptional since arriving at PSG.
Neymar has been exceptional since arriving at PSG.LOIC VENANCE/Getty Images

And while the Ballon d'Or has been dominated by Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi in recent years, if Neymar was to lead PSG to glory in both of those competitions, and potentially enjoy a strong FIFA World Cup with Brazil, he'd be in pole position to be crowned the finest footballer on the planet.

It'd be a surprise if Ronaldo was sensitive to Perez's comments about Neymar and the timing of them, although Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC suggested the Portuguese does compare himself to the PSG man and Messi:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Pretty clear Ronaldo feels there's something not right if he's Ballon D'Or / greatest player in history, and both Messi and Neymar are better paid.

Neymar is one of a small number of footballers in the game with the talent and temperament to eventually replace a figure like Ronaldo. And perhaps, with the Los Blancos No. 7 approaching his 33rd birthday, bringing in a superstar to take over as the top man at the Santiago Bernabeu is something the club will be considering.

Given they worked so hard and spent so much money to get him on board, it's unlikely PSG would welcome any interest in Neymar at this point. As such, if he is to win the Ballon d'Or in the near future, he must do so by doing great things in the French capital.


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