Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar cannot play on the same team, according to football super-agent Pini Zahavi.
The trio is considered the best players in the world right now with Messi and Neymar playing alongside each other for Barcelona from 2013 to 2017 in a spell that saw the club win two La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys, one Champions League crown and the FIFA Club World Cup.
However, Neymar shockingly made the move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last summer after the oil-rich Ligue 1 side activated his €222 million ($273.7 million) release clause in what is still the world record transfer deal.
It is highly believed that the Brazilian did not move for money but rather, the chance to play for a side built around him rather than Messi as with his current injury aside, he has flourished this season with 29 goals and 19 assists in 30 games in all competitions with PSG requiring just four points from their last six games to seal a fifth Ligue 1 title in six years.
But, there are rumors that the 25-year-old is unhappy in Paris with speculation rising that he could return to La Liga for Barcelona or even rivals Real Madrid where he would be teammates with Ronaldo. There were also reports that Zahavi, who acted as an intermediary for Neymar’s move last summer, accompanied a PSG delegation to Brazil last month to check on his injury and determine his value for another potential transfer.
Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are regarded as the top three players in the world today. Pictured: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are named in the Fifa FifPro World XI during the Best FIFA Football Awards Show in London, England, Oct. 23, 2017. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images
However, the super-agent believes Neymar was still right to leave Barcelona for PSG as he needed his footballing independence, adding it does not make sense for the three players to play alongside each other.
“Neymar did what he had to,” Zahavi told Polish news outlet Przeglad Sportowy, as quoted on ESPN. “There are only three football superstars — Messi, Cristiano and Neymar. They can’t play in one club.”
“At Barca, Ney always was the No. 2. He was the second to shoot from free kicks, second to the penalties, second to everything. He came to Spain as a young boy. He grew up. Now he’s 26 and has eight or nine years at the top level. He needs independence,” he said.
If PSG do end up losing Neymar this upcoming summer transfer window, it is not a waste of money for Unai Emery’s side, according to Zahavi, as Neymar’s signing has done a lot more for French football as a whole.
“PSG have big plans,” he explained. “Before Neymar’s move to PSG only French people watched Ligue 1. Neymar changed it.”
Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s last-minute penalty on Wednesday that helped Madrid defeat Juventus 4-3 on aggregate in the quarterfinals of the Champions League could potentially take him one step closer to a record sixth Ballon d’Or trophy, now known as the Best FIFA Men’s Player award.
Los Blancos have won the Champions League for the last two years running and a possible three-peat along with a good showing in the World Cup this summer could see Ronaldo surpass Messi with the duo currently tied with five each.
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