‘Neymar reunion at PSG would be good for Messi’ – Rivaldo backing Barcelona exit for Argentine

Lionel Messi NeymarGetty

Lionel Messi moving to Paris Saint-Germain “would be a good option” says Rivaldo, who says the Barcelona superstar will find a reunion with Neymar at Parc des Princes appealing.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is currently in the process of mulling over his options. After seeing a push for the exits at Camp Nou blocked off in the summer of 2020, the 33-year-old is now approaching the end of his contract.

Messi can depart Barcelona as a free agent in the summer if no fresh terms are agreed, with PSG considered to be battling Manchester City for position at the head of the recruitment queue.

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Both sides boast the financial and sporting muscle to entice an all-time great onto their books, but Rivaldo believes a switch to France may make more sense to the Argentine icon.

The Blaugrana legend told Betfair: “Leonardo, PSG's sports director has admitted that PSG are interested in signing Lionel Messi this summer when his contract ends at Barcelona.

“They would be a good option for him, especially as the club has an Argentinean manager in Mauricio Pochettino. Messi would also be reunited with his friend Neymar, so he has a few reasons to say yes to the club if a proposal comes.

“In Ligue 1, he should shine without problems as it is a weaker league than La Liga and the Premier League, and it would also allow him to manage his fitness throughout the season for the big Champions League matches.

“Financially, few clubs can pay him better than PSG, so I think it would be a great option for Messi. French football would also benefit a lot from his presence in terms of media and sponsorship.”

Messi remains on Barca’s books for now and is due to sit out their next two games after collecting the first red card of his club career in the Super Cup final defeat to Athletic Club.

Frustration got the better of Messi as he hit out at Asier Villalibre, but Rivaldo says no accusing fingers should be pointed in the direction of a man who is often pushed to breaking point by the antics of opponents.

The Brazilian added: “Messi's sending off in Barca's loss to Athletic Club was attributed to him being tired and frustrated, but I don't see it that way. Despite this being his first sending off at Barcelona, I think we all have our bad days and the right to occasionally lose our temper.

“It was a frustrating match for Barcelona and, after some fighting with an opponent, Messi ended up using his arm in an off-the-ball incident. The frustration of the match explains the situation - not off-the-field stuff. It's something that occurs frequently in football and Messi isn't an alien - he also has feelings and things like this can happen.”