'Neymar made a mistake leaving Barcelona' - Rivaldo urges Camp Nou return over Real Madrid move

Neymar Barcelona ICC

Neymar made a mistake leaving Barcelona, claims Rivaldo, with the Brazil international urged to favour a return to Camp Nou over a potential switch to Real Madrid.

Two years on from departing Catalunya for Paris Saint-Germain, another big-money move is being mooted for a €222 million (£195m/$260m) star.

The 27-year-old is said to want out of Parc des Princes, with a second stint in La Liga being sought.

Madrid have held long-standing interest in the South American and would welcome the opportunity to do a deal if the price is right.

Barca, though, could also look to bring Neymar back onto their books and Rivaldo believes a fellow countryman should be looking to build bridges there and retrace his steps.

“I would love for Neymar to return,” an iconic figure who spent five years with the Blaugrana in his playing days told reporters at a Betfair event.

“It would be good for Barca and for Neymar.

“It was a mistake that he left. He doesn't say that, nor does his father, but it was. He had four or five years left on his contract at Barca and didn't need to leave.

“The fans didn't want him to go. I think 70% wanted him to stay but he's got a strong personality and if he returns, puts the ball in the back of the net, beats Real Madrid and wins a Champions League the people will forget that.

“The supporters want to win the Champions League and play well, to keep their style, and many are frustrated due to the sudden changes. He's 27 and has a lot of years left in him yet. He could win another treble, it would be incredible.”

Rivaldo added on a potential transfer battle between two Clasico rivals: “I don't know what is going to happen but I'd prefer he was in Barcelona rather than in Madrid.

“If he goes to Madrid, that isn't good for Barca. If he goes there, they'll be really strong.”

Philippe Coutinho Barcelona 2018-19

Were Neymar to head back to Camp Nou, he could end up edging a Brazil international team-mate towards the exits.

Philippe Coutinho is seeing questions asked of his future and Rivaldo admits the 27-year-old playmaker needs to make a decision on whether he wants to stick around and silence his critics or take on a new challenge.

“He's a good player but he needs to show his football, the same that he did at Liverpool,” added the 1999 Ballon d’Or winner.

“He needs to show that he's willing to change.

“If he doesn't believe he can rediscover that form he showed for Liverpool, he should speak with the president and look to find an agreement with a strong team in England.”