Former Barcelona forward Rivaldo has claimed that Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has to join Real Madrid if he is serious about being crowned the best player in the world.
Former Barcelona forward Rivaldo has claimed that Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has to join Real Madrid if he is serious about being crowned the best player in the world. The 2002 World Cup winner also revealed that the move was 'very likely' to happen according to his sources.
The Brazil international left Catalonia last season in favor of a world record move to the French capital and Neymar took no time at all in adjusting to life away from the Camp Nou, scoring 29 goals and claiming 19 assists before picking up a hairline fracture in his foot back in February.
However, compatriot Rivaldo, who won the coveted Ballon d'Or in 1999, insists that Neymar must return to La Liga if he wants to win the award once the now 10-year dominance of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi comes to an end.
"He will never win the Ballon d'Or as long as he stays at PSG," Rivaldo told Brazilian outlet Globoesporte (via AS). "He needs to leave.
"If you look at England, Spain, Italy, Germany... it's different.
"I'm speaking about football, about competition. Neymar will not return to Barcelona. It was a very difficult situation for him there.
"And according to the information I have from people close, everything I have heard recently, I think it is very likely that Neymar will go to Real Madrid. And there I think he can be the best player in the world."
Rumors have been circulating all year surround about Neymar's potential return to Spain, with Real Madrid hot favorites to secure the signature of the former Barcelona winger.
But PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi is desperate to hold onto the 26-year-old for a little while longer, and recent speculation suggests that he even flew out to Brazil to meet with the recovering Neymar in an attempt at convincing him of staying at the Parc des Princes.
PSG have already wrapped up the Ligue 1 title this season, despite Neymar's absence over the last two months.
But the Brazil international was sorely missed during the club's Champions League campaign, missing their second leg against Real Madrid when the French giants crashed out 5-2 on aggregate.