Following the first surgery of his career, Neymar is positive he will be in good shape for the start of the World Cup in June.
With Neymar in Brazil playing poker during PSG’s title celebrations, the ESPN FC guys question his priorities and commitment to his club.
ESPN FC’s Julien Laurens tries to make sense of the rumours linking Neymar with a move back to Spain.
Former Real Madrid and Brazil forward Ronaldo believes it is impossible for Neymar to join the club from Paris Saint-Germain this summer but did not rule out the possibility it happening in the future.
Neymar, 26, joined PSG from Barcelona in a record €222 million deal last summer, but the Brazil international has not appeared settled in the French capital and is recovering from right foot surgery in his home country ahead of the World Cup this summer.
Club president Florentino Perez is a longtime admirer of Neymar, and reports have suggested Madrid could offer as much as €400 million to finally land him this summer.
“[Neymar] joined PSG recently for a big fee, and I don’t believe PSG need money,” Ronaldo, now a club ambassador, told “El Larguero” radio show. “So even if Real Madrid make a very big offer, it won’t change their minds.
“At the moment, I think it’s impossible for Neymar to play at Real Madrid. Maybe in a few years. He is still young, but at the moment, impossible. I believe he likes it in Paris, he wanted a change [from Barca] and knew what was going to happen.”
Reports have indicated it could be a busy summer at Madrid, with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, once considered untouchable, potentially leaving the club and Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah among the high-profile targets.
“We are all happy with Benzema, but we do not know what is being planned for the summer market,” Ronaldo said. “In any moment, Florentino could do something surprising.”
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan