Agent Wagner Ribeiro first saw Neymar playing on an indoor futsal field at just 12 years old, and Ribeiro discussed how, from 2012 onwards, Real Madrid and Barcelona had started fighting for the Santos prodigy.
Neymar didn’t want to play for Real Madrid
Neymar has once again been linked to a possible return to Barcelona. Still, his former agent Wagner Ribeiro believes Paris Saint-Germain is the only club that can satisfy his financial needs. The agent first saw Neymar playing on an indoor futsal field at just 12 years old, and Ribeiro discussed how, from 2012 onwards, Real Madrid and Barcelona had started fighting for the Santos prodigy. “Real Madrid were very persistent, but Neymar didn’t want to perform for Real Madrid. He wanted to go to Barca,” Ribeiro said in an interview. “Lionel Messi called him Gerard Pique. But then Barcelona President Sandro Rosell did not want me to take part in the talks.”
Barcelona left the agent out of the celebrations
“Rosell left me out of everything because he didn’t pay me a cent for Neymar’s move to Barcelona. Barca even left me out of the celebrations because I was closer to Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez.” Ribeiro revealed how one year before Neymar joining PSG, and a meeting took place with PSG President Nasser Al-KHelaifi, which eventually culminated in an increase in the forward’s salary at Camp Nou from €11 million per year to €28 million per year. Neymar would then make a move to Paris next summer. “He could no longer refuse. PSG paid Barcelona €222 million in 2017 and offered him a net salary of €36 million a year. It is illogical to refuse such an offer,” Ribeiro said. The famous agent also recalled when Neymar wanted to leave PSG and almost joined Real Madrid.
“They were ready to pay €300 million, but Nasser Al-Khelaifi said that even for €1 billion would he leave,” Ribeiro said. The former Neymar agent thinks PSG will go further and win the Champions League this year, with the Brazilian then going to win the Ballon d’Or and not seeing the departure on the cards. “Only the French side can afford the luxury of Neymar,” he stated. “Real Madrid have financial problems, Barcelona? Even worse. In Italy, no club can compete, but Manchester United or Manchester City? I don’t think so.”