Barcelona's Lionel Messi says 'good luck' to Neymar
Last Updated: 03/08/17 10:31pm
Barcelona great Lionel Messi has wished departing team-mate Neymar good luck for the future.
Neymar has been with Barcelona since 2013 and he has enjoyed huge success, teaming up with Messi and Luis Suarez to form one of the most feared forward lines in world football.
However, Barcelona confirmed on Wednesday that Neymar wanted to leave, and he appears set to join the French side Paris Saint-Germain.
And Messi has reacted to the news, posting a video on Instagram featuring images of himself and Neymar during their time together at Barca.
And the Argentinean wrote: "It was an enormous pleasure to have shared all these years with you friend @neymarjr.
"I wish you good luck in this new stage of your life."
Neymar has a contract with Barca until 2021 but PSG, deposed by Monaco as French champions last term, appear prepared to activate his €222m (£198m) release clause.
That would more than double the existing world-record fee of €105m, then worth £89m, that Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last summer.
In his three seasons in Catalunya, Neymar has helped Barca win La Liga twice, the Champions League, the Copa del Rey on three occasions. and the FIFA Club World Cup.
But South American football expert Tim Vickery says Neymar's potential move "makes logical sense" if the Brazilian dreams of stepping out of Messi's shadow and boosting his chances of winning the Ballon d'Or.
"As well as winning the Champions League - which he has done - he wants the World Cup - which he has not yet done - and the FIFA World Player of the Year award. That plays really big in Brazil," Vickery told Sky Sports News.
"He is not going to win it if he's not the best player on his own team. The idea was always to take things slowly, go to Barcelona in Messi's shadow, a lovely place to be for a while but not a great place to be forever.
"But Messi has just signed a new contract, hence the arrival of this story. It makes logical sense to go from Barcelona to PSG, you can see why his entourage would be thinking that way."