Xavi, the former Barcelona captain says he finds it “bizarre” that Neymar wanted to leave Barca and compared his world-record move to Luis Figo’s departure from the club.
In 2015, Neymar won the Champions League alongside Xavi, has sealed a £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain last week after 4 years at the Nou Camp. During these 4 years, the side won two La Liga titles and three Copa del Rey crowns.
Xavi insists it was a surprise that Neymar decided to make the move to the French capital. He said, “It was his decision and you have to respect it. It’s a personal choice. Players today move to where they’re wanted the most. But nobody could have imagined that he’d leave Barca.
“It’s bizarre that a player doesn’t want to stay at Barca. It’s very rare. It’s been 17 years since Luis Figo left for Real Madrid. As with Ney, it was his choice at the time. I don’t know how it happened, if there were meetings, conversations… there are many interpretations of this record transfer.”
The 37-year-old, who now plays for Al Sadd in Qatar, won 8 La Liga titles and 4 Champions Leagues with the Nou Camp side, as well as the World Cup and two European Championships with Spain.
He said, “I understand the Blaugrana fans are upset because Neymar gave no explanation. He left Barca without a press conference or anything, but hey, that’s how it is. We’ll see what he can give to PSG. What I’m sure of is that Barca did not expect a club to pay the €222m release clause. Now they have to manage that money.”
Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund seems to be the possible replacement for Neymar and Xavi expresses, “He’s a versatile player with a lot of physical and technical qualities, plus he’s very fast. He’s 20, which means two things: he has his whole future ahead of him but he has to show that he has the mental strength for a club as demanding as Barca. Any good player today is worth millions.”
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