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Neymar explodes: “Messi and I lived through hell at PSG”

The Al Hilal forward didn’t hold back as he spoke about his previous club, as well as mentioning Vini Jr and Rodrygo.

The Al Hilal forward didn’t hold back as he spoke about his previous club, as well as mentioning Vini Jr and Rodrygo.

Neymar, Brazil and Al Hilal winger, spoke in a recent interview with Globo, in which he talked about Vinicius and Rodrygo, Carlo Ancelotti and the “hell” through which he and Messi lived while at PSG.

The forward assured that he was very happy for Messi’s success during the 2022 Qatar World Cup during a difficult season for his friend, given the way things had turned out at PSG: “I was very happy for the year [Messi] had, but at the time very sad, because I saw both sides of the coin. He was on top of the world with the national team, winning everything over the past few years, but with PSG he went through hell. We went through hell, both him and myself.”

Messi was ‘unfairly targeted’, says Neymar

Messi left [PSG]”, he continued, “in a way that, speaking from a football perspective, he didn’t deserve. For everything that he is, everything he does, anyone who knows him will agree, he’s a guy who trains, who fights, if he loses he gets angry and he was unfairly targeted, in my opinion. It made me really happy to see him win the World Cup. As I said, football was fair in that moment. Messi deserved to finish his career that way.”

Asked whether or not he sees Real Madrid forwards Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo as potential heirs to the throne at the top of the Brazil hierarchy, the Al Hilal forward said that he had no doubt: “I can see it. Vini and Rodrygo are two great players, two stars that I am sure will take on the leadership role. In my opinion they already have, because they have that name, whether I’m there or not.”

Neymar suffered World Cup heartbreak against Croatia.
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Neymar suffered World Cup heartbreak against Croatia.Alex PanglingGetty Images

Will Ancelotti be the next Brazil manager? Neymar has his say

I’ve never been selfish like that, on the contrary”, Neymar said, “the more leaders you have in your team, the better. I’m happy they’re at that level, that they’re helping the Brazilian National Team, which is very important. They’re two kids that I like a lot. Vini and Rodrygo are two of my friends, I speak to them a lot. I hope to help them.”

As for the potential arrival of Carlo Ancelotti as Brazil manager, Neymar opened the doors to the possible arrival: “If it is Ancelotti [who becomes manager], he will be well received. He is a very well known manager who has won it all. If I have the chance, obviously I’m going to enjoy it a lot, I’m going to absorb everything I can from Ancelotti. I don’t know if the national team can do something that it never has done before, have a foreign manager, but it depends on the president and I’m sure he will make the right decision.”

‘Obviously I want to go back and play for Santos’

However, Neymar made it clear that his favourite to take over was the current interim boss, Fernando Diniz, who is doubling up with both the Brazil team and Fluminense. “In my opinion”, Neymar said, “the ideal man for the National Team right now would be [Fernando] Diniz, because he’s a great coach and the team would work very well with him.”

Neymar, before ending, left a clear message to the fans of Santos, the club where everything started in Brazil, and spoke about whether or not he would consider a return to his boyhood club. “Obviously I want to go back and play for Santos. I know that saying this now puts a lot of pressure on myself, but I have the wish. I already wrote it when I left: I’m going, but I’ll be back. I want to play for Santos again, I don’t know when, but they can rest assured that I’ll be back.”


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