Barcelona Presidential Candidate Says Neymar Is ‘Not One of the 30 Best Players in Europe’

Barcelona presidential candidate Toni Freixa has ruled out signing Neymar if he wins the election in January as he doesn’t believe the Paris Saint-Germain forward is currently one of the ’30 best players in Europe’.

Neymar spent four years at Barcelona before departing Camp Nou for PSG in 2017 in a world record transfer, but has been routinely linked with a return to his former side.

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Neymar joined PSG in 2017 | AFP Contributor/Getty Images

However Freixa – one of five presidential candidates up for election in January 2021 – has played down Neymar’s ability and insists he will not pursue the Brazilian should he win the presidency.

“Neymar, due to his performance, is not even among the 30 best players in Europe right now,” Freixa said [via Marca]. “If I were president, I would not sign him.”

The future of talisman Lionel Messi is also one of the hot topics going into the election. The Argentinian attempted to exit Camp Nou in the summer but his €700m release clause stood in his way.

His contract is up in the summer of 2021, and Freixa says that although Messi leaving Barcelona one day is inevitable, he hopes to keep him at the club for now.

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Freixa is running for the Barcelona presidency | JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

“The most important thing about Barça is Barça itself. We don’t depend on anyone,” he added. “Messi has been everything and he has to continue, my will is for him to continue, but one day he will have to leave. And the day that happens, I hope it will never be, but It is not a question that will keep me awake.

“The ‘Messi case’ is one of the important questions. You have to analyse what the situation is and you will have to make a series of decisions.

“To sit down and talk to Messi, you have to look him in the eye and see what everyone wants and what the club can offer him. You have to ask him if he really wants to continue, which I am convinced he does.”

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