Pique claims he understood Neymar leaving Barcelona

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The Brazilian wants to win the Ballon d'Or and his decision to join Paris Saint-Germain was understood by his former team-mate

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said he understood why Neymar decided to join Paris Saint-Germain, even though the move "hurt" the La Liga giants.

Neymar, 25, made a surprise Barca exit in August, joining PSG in a world-record €222million move.

While the Brazil star has already impressed in France, Barca have been in form without him, unbeaten and leading LaLiga.

Pique said he could see why Neymar would make the decision to join PSG, even if it was a blow to Barca.

"You try to do the best for your club and you also create relationships and friendships – with Neymar my relationship is really strong," the Spain international told Telegraph Sport.

"Even though it really hurt the club when he left, as a friend I could understand his decision and why he wanted to go to Paris. I tried to be fair to him no matter what.

"As a Barcelona fan it hurts and I understand that maybe some Barcelona fans are disappointed about how he left."

Pique believes part of Neymar's reason for leaving was his desire to claim the Ballon d'Or, the prize won by either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo for the past 10 years.

"It is very difficult to find a player who stays at the same club for the whole of their career," he said.

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"They need more motivation, they want to fight for new things. I know Neymar wanted the Ballon d'Or so I think it is fair he left for Paris where he will be the main star.

"If he does a good job in the Champions League and in France he has options to win the Ballon d'Or."

 

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