Football

Neymar won't win major titles with PSG: Rivaldo

Brazil legend Rivaldo urges compatriot to join a bigger club

Former Brazil international Rivaldo believes his fellow countryman Neymar must leave Paris Saint-Germain if he wants to win the Champions League.

Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona in a world record 222 million euros (S$264m) last August, has recently been linked to Real Madrid and even Manchester United.

His former Barca teammate Lionel Messi also weighed in on the possibility of Neymar joining Real, saying that it would be "terrible" if that happens.

But Rivaldo believes the 26-year-old striker must join a bigger club who have a better chance of winning major titles than PSG.

"If Neymar doesn't leave PSG, he will never win anything important," Rivaldo told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Especially the Champions League, which is the most important competition.

"The French league is at a lower level compared to the Spanish and English leagues, and he plays for a club without history."

Neymar had a mixed debut season in France. Despite winning a domestic Treble with PSG and picking up the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award, Neymar failed to lead the Parisian club into the latter stages of the Champions League.

The French side lost to Real Madrid in the Round of 16.

Meanwhile, Neymar said getting fit for the World Cup following surgery has been the biggest challenge of his career.

He is also worried about how his injured foot will respond to top-class competition, reported Reuters.

"This injury is difficult and the biggest challenge is right now, going to the World Cup after not playing for three months," he said on a sponsor's social media channel.

"The expectations are very high, not just from the fans but also from me. That's why this is the biggest challenge I'm facing."

He has been out of action since spraining his ankle and fracturing his fifth metatarsal on Feb 25, which led him to undergo surgery in Brazil.

The striker said he feared he would miss the June 14-July 15 World Cup Finals in Russia after suffering the injury.

"I was a bit worried I might not be ready in time but, after I had the scans, they... told me about the surgery, how long the recovery would take and that helped to calm me down.

TRAINING

"I've started training with the ball. I've started shooting, passing and, now, it's just a case of improving," he said.

"I feel good, comfortable, at ease. Of course, there is a certain worry, fear, but little by little, I'll lose that."

Neymar is expected to feature in Brazil's friendly against Croatia at Anfield on June 3 and should be fully fit by the time the Selecao kick off their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on June 17.

The five-time world champions will also play Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E.

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