Neymar: MLS warns PSG star it is not a retirement home
MLS commissioner Don Garber said the league was looking to attract young players or those in their prime ahead of older stars eyeing a retirement option.
PSG and Brazil forward Neymar recently expressed an interest in playing in MLS at some stage in his career, the 30-year-old joking that among the reasons he would be keen on a move to the USA: “First of all, their season is shorter, so I would have three months off. I would get to play for many more years". While MLS would doubtless like to lure players of Neymar’s quality to the league – his PSG teammate Leo Messi and James Rodríguez are among others to have hinted at a swansong move there – MLS commissioner Don Garber issued a warning to stars in the latter stages of their careers who view the league as a form of semi-retirement.
"We don’t need to bring in a big-name player at the end of their career"
“If they’re not here to come and play and be a great contributor to their club and to our league and to respect the league and its fans, then we don’t want them in Major League Soccer,” Garber told ESPN. “We don’t need to bring in a big-name player at the end of their career because they’ve decided they’d like to retire in MLS. We want our story to be about young players who are coming here at the earliest stages in their career or in their prime of their careers, and making our league their league of choice.
“When Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] left [LA Galaxy] nobody said that he went to go retire in Italy. And frankly I was insulted by that,”
Garber also pointed to the calibre of player MLS has recently been attracting, citing players such as Josef Martínez and Miguel Almirón, while Valentín Castellanos has also shown that a move to MLS can be an excellent career choice before automatically looking to Europe.