February 04, 2018

Neymar played cat and mouse with Barca


Barcelona's vice-president, Jordi Mestre, granted an exclusive interview to 'Sport' and spoke about the exit of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain. Mestre claims the Brazilian was not clear about telling the Catalan club that he wanted to leave.

Speaking to the Catalan newspaper, Mestre said: "What hurt us about the Neymar departure was how it happened. We spent a whole [preseason] tour talking with him and his father... They were not transparent".

For the vice-president, he would even go as far to say that Neymar teased them: "He played cat and mouse with us. There was a point where we saw where this was going and that's why we told him that we wouldn't pay his contract renewal bonus".

Mestre also believes that he knows why the Brazil international didn't say anything about wanting to leave: "I'm convinced he didn't say he wanted to leave so that he could collect the extra money, that's why I'm upset. Now we'll go to court and a judge can decide".

Neymar had denounced the La Liga leaders for not paying the second part of the contract renewal bonus that he had supposedly agreed with Barcelona before joining PSG in the summer.

Mestre went on in the interview to speculate as to why the 25-year-old left 'Los Cules': "He realised that he would never be number one in the world while [Lionel] Messi is at Barca. He became fixated on the belief that, to be the best, he had to leave... It's legitimate that he thinks this".

"It felt like a small earthquake [when he left]... The trident disappeared and [Ernesto] Valverde, who had just arrived, was left without him. It was difficult to recover, but we did not lose our nerve or go crazy".

He concluded: "We had a very solid Barca. The squad has been shortened and it has been rejuvenated, and we still have Messi".

Valverde's team will be hoping to extend their lead at the top of La Liga on Sunday as they play city rivals Espanyol at Estadi Cornellà-El Prat.


Barcelona's vice-president, Jordi Mestre, granted an exclusive interview to 'Sport' and spoke about the exit of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain. Mestre claims the Brazilian was not clear about telling the Catalan club that he wanted to leave.

Speaking to the Catalan newspaper, Mestre said: "What hurt us about the Neymar departure was how it happened. We spent a whole [preseason] tour talking with him and his father... They were not transparent".

For the vice-president, he would even go as far to say that Neymar teased them: "He played cat and mouse with us. There was a point where we saw where this was going and that's why we told him that we wouldn't pay his contract renewal bonus".

Mestre also believes that he knows why the Brazil international didn't say anything about wanting to leave: "I'm convinced he didn't say he wanted to leave so that he could collect the extra money, that's why I'm upset. Now we'll go to court and a judge can decide".

Neymar had denounced the La Liga leaders for not paying the second part of the contract renewal bonus that he had supposedly agreed with Barcelona before joining PSG in the summer.

Mestre went on in the interview to speculate as to why the 25-year-old left 'Los Cules': "He realised that he would never be number one in the world while [Lionel] Messi is at Barca. He became fixated on the belief that, to be the best, he had to leave... It's legitimate that he thinks this".

"It felt like a small earthquake [when he left]... The trident disappeared and [Ernesto] Valverde, who had just arrived, was left without him. It was difficult to recover, but we did not lose our nerve or go crazy".

He concluded: "We had a very solid Barca. The squad has been shortened and it has been rejuvenated, and we still have Messi".

Valverde's team will be hoping to extend their lead at the top of La Liga on Sunday as they play city rivals Espanyol at Estadi Cornellà-El Prat.