Rivaldo Backs Neymar to Secure Summer Transfer and End PSG Torment

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 19, 2019

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar celebrates with the champion's trophy at the end of the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Dijon at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on May 18, 2019. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Brazil legend Rivaldo has backed compatriot Neymar to secure the Paris Saint-Germain exit he's seeking after reportedly growing disgruntled at the club.

Neymar, 27, joined PSG from Barcelona in a world-record €222 million transfer in 2017. The cost of the deal means PSG have yet to have their valuation of the player met, but Rivaldo told Betfair "it should be straightforward" for the French giants to attract a suitable offer (h/t Goal's Chris Burton):

"It's general knowledge that Neymar wants to leave PSG for another big European club, but that's not a guarantee, and if he ends up staying, he would need to focus on his football rather than anything else.

"He is not happy with PSG, and I believe he could even regret his decision of joining—with all due respect—but the situation is complicated, as they spent a lot of money on him.

"PSG don't want to get hit with a big loss after investing more than €200 million, but I believe they can recover their investment, or at least exchange him for money and other good players in the business. So, hopefully, it should be straightforward."

Even PSG manager Thomas Tuchel told RMC he was aware of Neymar's motivation to leave the club prior to this summer's Copa America (h/t Goal):

There have been frequent reports regarding Neymar's desire to get out of Paris in recent months. The forward missed half of the 2018-19 campaign because of a foot injury and hasn't raked in the plaudits he was likely expecting following his move to France.

Rivaldo concluded: "With his recent comments and behaviour, it's possible that fans won't be too happy with him if he remains. He must face the music and simply play his best football. If he manages to achieve something special with them in Europe, perhaps the fans won't criticise him as much."

Dani Alves, 36, was a staunch defender of Neymar during their time together at the Parc des Princes. It was he who wrested the ball from team-mate Edinson Cavani during his penalty disagreement with Neymar in November 2017, but Alves is no longer part of the dressing room.

Neymar hurt his public image when he reacted angrily to a fan's goading at the Coupe de France final, when PSG suffered a penalty shootout defeat to Rennes following a 2-2 draw:

Even close friend Alves—who has now left PSG—couldn't defend his ally at the time and said Neymar shouldn't have reacted to the supporter as he did, a possible sign of his frustration in France.

It's not surprising Rivaldo appears to want Neymar out of the Parc des Princes. The Selecao legend, 47, made 236 appearances for Barca during his career and would presumably support the notion of Neymar's return to the Camp Nou, where he achieved his greatest successes.

The supposed idea was that he would step out of Lionel Messi's shadow by moving to Paris, but Neymar hasn't found the glory he hoped for in Ligue 1, while PSG have still struggled in the UEFA Champions League.

PSG director Leonardo said earlier in July that Neymar can leave the club if they receive an offer that "suits everyone." Sky in Germany reported on Thursday that Barcelona's latest offer was worth £90 million and two players from a six-man list (h/t Sky Sports News).

The Blaugrana look like the only serious suitors hoping to cut a deal for Neymar this summer, with Rivaldo hopeful of seeing the star content and back to his best as soon as possible.

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