Neymar 'Has to Leave' PSG to 'Become the Best Player in the World,' Says Rivaldo

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2019

JOHOR BAHRU, MALAYSIA - JUNE 30: Rivaldo Ex-Brazil International and JDT Rest of the World in action during the match against JDT TMJ Selection during the JDT All-Stars Charity Match at the Larkin Stadium on June 30, 2019 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. (Photo by Allsport Co./Getty Images)
Allsport Co./Getty Images

Neymar won't become the premier player on the planet until he leaves Paris Saint-Germain, according to former Brazil star Rivaldo. 

The 47-year-old thinks Neymar was wrong to move to the French capital for a world-record fee back in 2017. Instead, Rivaldo is convinced his countryman should join a European heavyweight who gives him a better chance of winning the UEFA Champions League again.

Rivaldo described what he thinks the future holds for Neymar, per Joe Tanner of Sky Sports:

"I believe a lot in Neymar. But I think he has to leave [PSG]. That's why he wanted to leave at this transfer window at any cost, PSG is a great club but not one for the level of Neymar.

"I think that, at a world stage, everybody talks only about Barcelona, Real Madrid and some other big clubs from England, some from Germany. He has to go to a club that has more history at Champions [League].

"Of course, if he wins the Champions [League] and can be a world champion, it will be much easier to become the best player in the world. He has to be like Ronaldinho. Ronaldinho left there [PSG] to come to Barcelona to be the best player in the world."

In terms of when Neymar will quit the Parc des Princes, Rivaldo believes it will be sooner rather than later. He named the "next transfer window" as the moment Neymar changes clubs, a move that he believes will make the 27-year-old the best in the game.

Rivaldo is convinced Ronaldinho must follow Neymar's career path and walk away from PSG.
Rivaldo is convinced Ronaldinho must follow Neymar's career path and walk away from PSG.VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/Getty Images

It's interesting Rivaldo has encouraged Neymar to emulate another Selecao great in the form of Ronaldinho. The latter left PSG for Barcelona in 2003 and won the Ballon d'Or and the Champions League during his time at the Camp Nou.

By contrast, Neymar performed the switch going the other way. He had already lifted the top prize in European club football with the Blaugrana in 2015 but wanted to step out of the collective shadow of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Things haven't quite gone to plan, with PSG also spending big to bring Kylian Mbappe on board from AS Monaco. Injuries have also stymied Neymar's form at key moments. A metatarsal problem limited him to just 16 starts in the league last term and a mere six appearances in the Champions League.

Numbers like those made it no surprise when Neymar's name didn't appear on the list of nominees for this year's Ballon d'Or:

It also hasn't helped his relationship with the fans has soured amid the forward's open desire to move on during this summer's transfer window. Neymar courted interest from former club Barca, as well as their La Liga rivals Real Madrid.

There's no doubt a return to La Liga, widely considered a more competitive and marquee competition than Ligue 1, would boost Neymar's chances of Ballon d'Or recognition. However, the more immediate help would come from the former Santos man finally staying fit and cementing a prolific rapport with the gifted Mbappe.

If Neymar could be the catalyst for the European success that continues to elude PSG, he would surely be regarded as a player good enough to merit a label like world's best.

Related

    Simeone's No. 2 Mono Burgos to Leave Atletico

    Longtime assistant will begin his own head coaching career at end of season

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Simeone's No. 2 Mono Burgos to Leave Atletico

    Goal
    via Goal

    Muller: Lewandowski > CR7 Right Now

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Muller: Lewandowski > CR7 Right Now

    CSmith1919
    via Bavarian Football Works

    PSG Wants €175M From Barcelona For Neymar; Not Interested in Swap Deal

    Paris Saint-Germain FC logo
    Paris Saint-Germain FC

    PSG Wants €175M From Barcelona For Neymar; Not Interested in Swap Deal

    Ed
    via PSG Talk

    Man Utd's $90M Koulibaly Offer Rejected

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Man Utd's $90M Koulibaly Offer Rejected

    Football-italia
    via Football-italia