Neymar has insisted that leaving Barcelona was never an option as “football without Lionel Messi isn’t football”.
Neymar was speaking at an event hosted by Red Bull on Saturday, just 24 hours after Joan Laporta’s appeal for Barca’s pact with prosecutors to be annuled was dismissed and a judge for the National Court of Spain threw out DIS’ legal claim that they were owed money from the forward’s move to Catalonia in 2013.
“At no time did I want to leave Barca. The club wanted me to stay and we ended up renewing,” he was quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo in reference to his recent extension at Camp Nou.
“Football without [Lionel] Messi isn’t football. At Barcelona and in Argentina, everyone wants to see him on the pitch.
“It’s a very difficult decision [that he’s made to retire from international football], but I hope he’s happy.”