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Neymar should return to Spain to become the world's best player - Emery

12:05 GMT 08/01/2020
Unai Emery Neymar PSG Ligue 1
The former Barcelona forward has been urged to head back to La Liga, with the ex-Arsenal boss feeling that is where the best teams still play

Neymar has all the attributes to become the best player in the world but needs to move back to Spain to fulfill his potential, according to the Brazil star's former manager at Paris Saint-Germain, Unai Emery.

Having left Barcelona for the French capital in the summer of 2017, Neymar has seen his standing in the world game fall due to his failure - in part due to injuries - to inspire PSG to glory in the Champions League.

It was cited that part of the reason for his record-breaking move away from Camp Nou was to escape from the shadow of Lionel Messi, but while Neymar has at times toiled, it was the Argentine who in December won his sixth Ballon d'Or.

Emery was the manager in charge at Parc des Princes when Neymar arrived, and though they tasted domestic success they struggled to make an impact in Europe amid speculation that they did not always see eye-to-eye during their one season together.

Despite that, Emery is of the opinion that Neymar is "without any doubt" the best player he has coached and feels the ex-Santos forward should now be looking to return to La Liga.

Neymar himself was keen to re-join Barca during the summer of 2019 and has also been linked to Real Madrid, and Emery would back his former charge in moving back to Spain in the near future.

"He is 27 years old and has all the conditions to be the best player in the world," Emery told Cadena SER. "In Spain I would like him to come back because the best players have to be in the best teams.

"You hear a lot that he will return to Barcelona. I also left to go to PSG, but now that I'm in Spain, I think Neymar has to come back."

Emery is currently out of work after he was sacked by Arsenal in November as he struggled to arrest a concerning run of results for the Gunners that left them mid-table in the Premier League.

The 48-year-old was appointed as Arsene Wenger's successor in the summer of 2018 but failed to return the club to the Champions League during his first campaign in charge before his struggles in 2019-20.

And though Emery believes he was hired to oversee a long-term project, he feels as if the club's hierarchy began to panic following a run that saw the north London outfit win just one of the former Sevilla boss' final nine matches in charge.

"There was a time when the illusion broke. In this case, the coach pays for it.

"Arsenal hired me because I have a resume with titles, for having players of an important level and because I am a club man.

"They proposed building a project, but the results led to frustration."

Emery has now worked as a manager in the Premier League, La Liga and Ligue 1, and he is of the belief that, despite the English game providing the most competitive league, the best teams still reside in his homeland.

"The best football teams are in Spain with Madrid and Barcelona, ​​but the best league is the English one," he said.