Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has hit out at former Barcelona star Neymar for not playing at the level of Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo since he made the switch from the Nou Camp to the French capital where he currently plays for French champions, Paris Saint-Germain.
Andre Villas-Boas, who is currently the manager of French Ligue 1 side, Marseille believes Neymar’s move to France has seen him fall off the pace in his quest to potentially succeed Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the world’s best footballer. The Brazilian international has been hit with severe injuries in his two seasons in France.
Despite the injuries, Neymar has managed to score 51 goals in 58 games for PSG. He is reportedly unhappy in France and would welcome a departure from the Parc des Princes. He has become the subject of serious transfer speculation which has seen both Barcelona and Real Madrid declare their interests in him.
While Neymar’s future is far from clear as PSG are reportedly considering the best offer that will benefit all parties, Villas-Boas claims the Brazilian’s move to PSG has failed to show the promise and talents that Neymar displayed while he was at the Camp Nou. He was part of the Barcelona squad that won the Treble in 2015 under the management of Luis Enrique.
“He is an important player in the world of football. For me, it was the player who could succeed Ronaldo and Messi for the Ballon d’Or. But he did not recover all the qualities he had shown in Barcelona,” Villas-Boas said according to Goal. The Marseille coach, however, explained that his departure from the French Ligue 1 would not be good for the development of the league.
“For Ligue 1, it’s not good if he leaves,” Villas-Boas said. “This type of player has an important image in football, a bit like when Ronaldinho was here in Paris. There’s this attractiveness, the football world wants to watch these kinds of players. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I can’t comment on the separation because I’m not the PSG coach.”
Barcelona are reportedly desperate to bring the PSG star back to the Camp Nou and the Catalans are willing to offer Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic as part of the transfer, although the Parisians are reportedly keen on getting Nelson Semedo.
While talks for a deal are currently ongoing, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel has stressed Neymar remains important to his project at the French capital.
“He was very decisive for us. If we lose Neymar, maybe I will not sleep, because it would be hard to lose him and find another player who can do the same things for us. Maybe no news is good news. It’s hard not knowing. Because I want him at home. But we have to find solutions without him too,” Tuchel said on French TV show Canal Football Club.