Ex-Barcelona president Joan Laporta says that Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar may well end up moving on to Real Madrid from France. USA vs Curaçao: Gold Cup live
Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta believes that Neymar, who left the Blaugrana for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, may end up swapping Ligue 1 for the Catalans' arch rivals Real Madrid.
"PSG could well be a stepping stone towards Real Madrid"
"For Neymar, PSG could well be a stepping stone towards signing for Madrid," Laporta told the Web Sport Congress in Barcelona on Friday. "Time will tell."
Discussing the Brazilian's world-record, 222m-euro move to PSG in August, Laporta added: "He was at an age where, if he wanted to win the Ballon d'Or, he had to go to a club where he was the main man."
However, he feels it "will be difficult" for Neymar to claim the award ahead of Leo Messi while the Barça ace is still playing, declaring: "Messi's the best in history"
Laporta laments Neymar absence from PSG-Real Madrid clash
The 55-year-old also lamented Neymar's absence from PSG's Champions League last-16 second leg with Real Madrid on Tuesday, which the Parisians head into needing to overturn a 3-1 deficit.
"I think it's a shame," said Laporta, who was Barça chief from 2003 to 2010. "He's an important player for his team and he'll be a big miss as they try to turn the tie around."
Laporta lauds Barcelona season under Valverde
Meanwhile, Laporta was full of praise for the campaign that LaLiga leaders Barça are having under Ernesto Valverde, commenting: "I think it's been a very good season; the team is challenging on all fronts and it could be a year to remember.
"We're favourites to win the league, we're playing at home [against second-placed Atlético Madrid on Sunday], and we could go eight points clear."