Football

Neymar: Barca deserve better

PSG star says former club will not progress without a change in management

Neymar has launched a stinging attack on the Barcelona board, saying his former club deserve much better.

The Brazil striker recently swopped Barca for Paris St Germain in a record-breaking 222-million-euros (S$356m) transfer, bringing to an end four trophy-laden years at the Nou Camp.

The 25-year-old admitted that he enjoyed his stay with the Catalan giants, but has revealed he was not impressed with all aspects of the club.

Speaking after scoring twice on his home debut as PSG thumped Toulouse 6-2 in Ligue 1 yesterday morning (Singapore time), Neymar took aim at the Barca hierarchy.

"I want to speak the truth, I'm very sad with them," Neymar said in quotes reported by the Spanish press.

"I spent four years there and I was very happy. At the start, I was very happy. I had four beautiful years and I was happy but, with them (the Barca board), no.

"For me, at Barcelona, there are directors who shouldn't be there. Barca deserves much more and the whole world knows it.

"I have many friends there, I hope things improve for Barca and they get back to being a team capable of competing with the others."

Since Neymar quit the Nou Camp, Barca have been thrashed 5-1 on aggregate by bitter rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup before starting their La Liga campaign with a 2-0 home win over Real Betis yesterday morning.

“For me, at Barcelona, there are directors who shouldn’t be there. Barca deserves much more and the whole world knows it.”Neymar

Despite securing the massive fee for the Brazilian, Barcelona are struggling to replace him before the transfer window closes on Aug 31.

The club have had bids in excess of 100m euros for Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele turned down.

And the club have been criticised for splashing out 40m euros for Brazil midfielder Paulinho, who has spent two years at Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

Paulinho's arrival has not been warmly received by Barca's fanatical supporters.

Over 80 per cent of fans urged the club not to pay more than 20m euros for the former Tottenham flop in a survey conducted by Barcelona sports daily Mundo Deportivo.

Neymar said he could not comment on what the club were doing before the close of the transfer window.

"I cannot speak now that I am in another team. I don't know what's going on there, but I see my old teammates sad, and it's that which makes me sad because I have a lot of friends there," he said.

"I hope that things will improve for Barca and that they will become a team that can rival others."

Neymar, on the other hand, has become an instant hit at the Parc des Princes.

After scoring two goals and having a hand in three other goals in the win over Toulouse yesterday morning, he warned the rest of Ligue 1 that he can only get better.

"I feel happy at PSG, it's like home," Neymar told French TV channel Canal+.

"Now I want to adapt quicker, get better in the physical aspect - I think I can improve." 
- WIRE SERVICES

neymarParis Saint-Germainbarcelona