‘I urged Neymar to stay at Barcelona’

The Brazil star has had a wonderful start to life in the French capital, but he would still be at Camp Nou had he taken his father’s advice.

Neymar was told to turn down a world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain and stay at Barcelona by his father, the latter said.

The 25-year-old caused a stir in the summer when he opted to ditch the Spanish giants and make the €222 million move.

Neymar has had an impressive start to live in the French capital, scoring six goals and setting up five in six Ligue 1 games, with a further two strikes and assists in the Champions League.

The Brazil star continues to dominate the headlines, but his agent and father has admitted that he urged him to avoid taking the gamble when PSG’s interest emerged.

“I was the one who hesitated until the last moment,” he told TF1’s ‘Telefoot’. “I told him that the best choice was to stay but he wanted to take a risk.

“It was difficult, but Neymar wanted this challenge and we supported him.
“We were all proud when he was presented at PSG. To see Neymar projected onto the Eiffel Tower was incredible. He loves everything here.”

As the main star at a side aiming to win a first ever Champions League title, Neymar is expected to challenge for the Ballon d’Or alongside former team-mate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid icon Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, Neymar Sr. said, the ex-Santos player has his eyes set on winning trophies with the team, as opposed to individual accolades.

“To help Paris win the Champions League motivated him. If Neymar should win the Ballon d’Or, he will, but I don’t think that he really wants it. If he wanted that he could have remained at Barcelona.

“We signed a five-year contract, so we have five years to win the Champions League with PSG.”

He also had some high praise for Neymar’s new team-mate Kylian Mbappe, who has also had a fine start to life upon his return to the capital.

“Now, the attacking line of PSG will inspire the next generations. For us, it’s a gift that Mbappe is here because he plays like a 30-year-old.

“It’s no problem if he is a challenger for the Ballon d’Or. In few years, he will be in that category of players.”, he said.

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