You have to see what Neymar did in Spain before he arrived, provoking a fight between Real Madrid and Barcelona that was similar to that of the Alfredo Di Stéfano operation of the fifties. Barça won by forking out more. They supposedly paid €24 million, with successive add-ons, including hiring the player’s father as a scout in Brazil. It became an expensive effort, with Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu admitting that Barça had been convicted of fraud.
The final amount came to be around €114 million, roughly speaking. The deal, however, was taken for granted at Barcelona because bringing Lionel Messi and Neymar together was a replication of Real Madrid’s galático effort of previous years. Neymar was also an extraordinary player, who, despite his annual trip to Brazil for his sister’s birthday and a few other informalities, worked out. Due to his age at the time, we saw him becoming a future Ballon d’Or winner when Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s time was up. His performance in the comeback against PSG was glorious. Let’s say he did at least as much for that win as referee Deniz Aytekin.
Messi and Neymar meet again
But Messi was the main man at Camp Nou and Neymar decided to fly solo, moving to PSG, leaving €222 million that Bartomeu grabbed in a heartbeat. He went down the rungs that Kylian Mbappé has refused to climb to go to more comfortable football, to be the star of the show. But that softened him competitively and made him more become casual. And after a while, Messi met up with him again, not to mention Mbappé, who became the guiding cross of that pagan procession. Now Neymar is in the way and they’re letting him know about it. He is not on any radar for the Ballon d’Or and it won’t be easy for any big club to take on that mortgage.