What Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi told Neymar privately before leaving Barcelona for PSG
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Former Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has candidly opened up on what he and Lionel Messi told Neymar before his world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Suarez, Messi and Neymar forged the famous ‘MSN’ trident at the Camp Nou and enjoyed incredible success during their time together at Barcelona.
However, ‘MSN’ came to a surprising end after PSG splashed out an eye-watering £200m to bring Neymar to the French capital in 2017.
Neymar, who signed for Barcelona in 2013, lifted two La Liga titles, a Champions League and three Copa del Reys during his four seasons at the Camp Nou.
Suarez believes that the 31-year-old Brazilian winger would have captured France Football’s sought-after Ballon d’Or award “for sure” if he had stayed at Barcelona.
The 36-year-old Uruguayan striker, who left Barcelona in 2020, added that he and Messi both told Neymar he could have won “everything” with the Spanish club.
“For us, Messi was the best in the world and, for me, Neymar was the second best, but they helped me win the Golden Boot,” Suarez told Brazilian magazine Placar, as per Marca.
“I will always be grateful. It’s further proof that three stars together can play in the same team with the aim of winning for the team, not individually. And I think that’s what made us better and good teammates.
“If Neymar had stayed at Barcelona, he would have won a Ballon d’Or for sure.
“I didn’t really like talking about it, but there came a time when it was already a big thing, so we went to talk to Neymar and said, ‘Ney, if you want to win everything stay here with us.’
“We, as friends, advised him to stay, but it’s his decision, his family’s decision.
“We said: ‘Neymar, England is better. [Manchester] City, [for example]. Football will be better there. But in France?’”
Suarez also spoke about his close relationship with both Messi and Neymar on the pitch and off it, with the ex-Liverpool star telling them he came to Barcelona to win.
“I told [Messi and Neymar] I was coming to [Barcelona] to win, to triumph and achieve important things,” he added.
“It was not enough for me to argue with Neymar about who will take the penalties, nor will I dispute with Messi to take the free-kicks.
“Off the field, when we got together to drink mate -- Neymar didn’t drink mate -- but when Messi and I were drinking mate and he came to sit down, we talked about all kinds of things.”