Over the last few months, the attacking prowess of Barcelona’s Neymar, Lionel Messi, and Luis Suarez has seen many soccer pundits and fans label the trio as the best players in the world.
One man who isn’t too happy about being eclipsed by the Brazilian, Argentinian, and Uruguayan is Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward has been battling Lionel Messi for the title of the best soccer player in the world for the best part of a decade now.
The players’ rivalry is believed to be much friendlier than the press tries to perpetuate. This friendship extends beyond Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi though, because Neymar has now joined in this love-in too. Not only did he declare his admiration for the former Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United forward, but he has admitted that he’d love Cristiano Ronaldo to join him and Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at Barcelona.
— Football Funnys (@FootballFunnys) February 21, 2016
Speaking to the Portuguese publication A Bola, via 90 Minutes, Neymar spoke glowingly about Cristiano Ronaldo. “I’m a fan of Cristiano,” the Brazilian forward declared. “He’s a legend. One of a kind. It would be very good if he played for Barcelona.”
Neymar didn’t have time to go into detail about how Cristiano Ronaldo might force his way into the current Barcelona set-up, which has even been labelled by some as the greatest team in soccer over the last few years. That’s a point that’s become hard to dispute considering that the trio were instrumental in Barcelona’s treble last season, which saw the Catalan side win the La Liga, Champions League, and Copa Del Rey.
Somehow, the trio of players has only got even better over the course of this season too, with Neymar, Lionel Messi, and Luis Suarez each complimenting each other perfectly as part of Luis Enrique’s attack.
During the same interview, Neymar found time to praise the relationship he has with not just Suarez and Messi but the rest of the Barcelona team, insisting that he’s extremely proud of the way they are playing at the moment.
“I think the team is not this trident,” Neymar continued. “We can be considered one of the best in history. I love playing with team-mates and I feel very proud to be part of this team.”
Barcelona are one of the firm favorites to winning this season’s Champions League, and if they do they’ll become the first team to do so since the competition was re-packaged back in 1992. Neymar knows that it’s going to be hard, but he promises the entire side will give their all to do just that.
“It’s difficult,” Neymar insisted, “there are great teams, as good as Barcelona. I can only guarantee that we won’t lack the determination to try.”
We love you NJR but NO thanks.
— Neymar Jr. (@NeyMarvellous) February 21, 2016
Barcelona are firm favorites to claim another La Liga title this season, especially after this weekend’s round of fixtures, which left them nine points ahead of Real Madrid in the table.
Neymar was actually making these remarks regarding Cristiano Ronaldo in response to questions about his own future at Barcelona. Despite having developed and honed his ability as a player extensively ever since he moved to the Nou Camp from Santos for the fee of £71.5 million ($120 million), Neymar has been repeatedly linked with a transfer away from Barcelona in recent months.
Not only have the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United, who reportedly made a record-breaking bid to capture Neymar in the summer, been linked with a move for the Brazilian, but in recent weeks it’s been suggested that Real Madrid are interested in acquiring his services too.
[Image via Associated Press]