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Lionel Messi was integral to Barcelona beating Real Madrid to mega transfer

Ryan Sidle

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Lionel Messi was integral to Barcelona beating Real Madrid to mega transfer

Lionel Messi has been attributed as the reason that Barcelona beat fierce rivals Real Madrid to one of the biggest transfers of modern times.

During his time at Barcelona, Messi loved little more than getting one over their Clasico rivals, scoring 26 times against Real during his time with the club.

No one has scored more times in Clasico games than the seven time Ballon d'Or winner, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Alfredo di Stefano both eight goals behind him in joint second.

Even now he's in the head of former opponents from the Bernabeu, with one ex Real star referring to him as 'provocative, rude and annoying,' in a recent book.

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But it's not just on the pitch where the former Barca man managed to outflank his regular opponents, and he actually helped them secure one huge transfer.

According to Wagner Ribeiro, the PSG forward was the reason that Ribeiro's ex client, Neymar, decided to go to the Camp Nou over the Bernabeu.

"He wanted Neymar, he made many proposals, and so did Barcelona. Whenever Madrid made a proposal, Barcelona covered it," the agent told Mundo Deportivo.

"Madrid withdrew from the bid when there was a conversation with Messi to sign for Barça, Messi was essential for the signing."

Messi and Neymar formed a great partnership for Barcelona. Image: Alamy
Messi and Neymar formed a great partnership for Barcelona. Image: Alamy

The pair obviously built up an incredible partnership at Barca, which also included Luis Suarez in an incredible front three.

The Brazilian won two league titles in Spain, along with three Copa del Reys and a Champions League title, including a treble in 2014/15.

However, their partnership ended in 2017, after just four years together, when PSG paid the £198 million transfer release clause in Neymar's contract.

According to some reports, the former Santos forward was hoping to get out of his former teammates shadow and try to win the Ballon d'Or, which is why he wanted to leave.

However, during his spell at the Parc des Princes, the 30-year-old has often found himself in the shadow of Kylian Mbappe instead, who joined PSG, initially on loan, in the same summer.

The pair have been reunited in Paris. Image: Alamy
The pair have been reunited in Paris. Image: Alamy

Of course, Neymar and Messi have now been reunited in the French capital, following the Argentina star's move in August 2021.

Messi only has one year left on his deal, and reports have linked him with a return back to the Nou Camp next summer, although it's been denied that there is any agreement.

Other reports claimed that Mbappe only chose to stay in Paris last summer because one of the agreements was that Neymar would be sold.

That didn't happen and now the World Cup winner is apparently unhappy with the club and wants to leave himself.

The trios relationships have also been under the microscope, with major interest shown in how Messi and Neymar reacted to a recent Mbappe goal.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Lionel Messi, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Neymar, La Liga, Transfers, Paris Saint-Germain

Ryan Sidle
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