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How Lionel Messi ensured Neymar’s move to Barcelona over Real Madrid

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

It’s safe to say that Neymar’s four-year spell at Barcelona was the stuff of dreams.

After a slow start to life at the Spotify Camp Nou, the Brazilian international was part of arguably the greatest front three of all time, alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

With the 30-year-old’s partnership with Messi still being a thing of beauty at Paris Saint-Germain, the player’s former agent has revealed the role of the Argentine icon in the mega-transfer.

He wanted Neymar, he made many proposals, and so did Barcelona. Whenever Madrid made a proposal, Barcelona covered it.

Madrid withdrew from the bid when there was a conversation with Messi to sign for Barça, Messi was essential for the signing”, he said, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

Despite not playing his football in Europe, the hype around Neymar remains unparalleled.

So much so that the fleet-footed winger was a part of the top 10 list of nominees for the 2011 Ballon d’Or award.

As a result, it comes as no surprise that Lionel Messi was eager for Neymar’s arrival, considering he was globally recognised as a generational talent.

At the time, it seemed like there was a tug-of-war between a host of top European sides for the-then wonderkid’s signature.

Clubs in the Premier League such as Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, in particular, were reportedly eyeing a swoop for him.

However, it always seemed like there was a showdown between Barcelona and Real Madrid for Neymar’s signing.

Ultimately, the involvement of arguably the best player of all time, Lionel Messi, swayed Neymar to sign for the Blaugrana in 2013, leaving Madridistas’ hearts broken.

And as they say, the rest is history.

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