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death or glory

Why Neymar to PSG would be the most tragic transfer in history

The Brazilian forward is in a unique situation in that he could be the best player in the world in a few years' time... but not if he throws it away

All football fans should hope that Neymar does not join PSG.

The Brazilian superstar is heavily linked with an astonishing €220million move to the French capital if the Ligue 1 club are prepared to pay his release clause and match his wage demands.

If the transfer were to go through the world record transfer fee would instantly double.

Football’s immediate future rests in Neymar’s hands

Football’s immediate future rests in Neymar’s hands


He would undoubtedly score plenty of goals in Ligue 1 and after three or four years he would have a record that would make him a great player for the ages.

But if he rejects the move and stays at Barcelona then something better awaits him – immortality.

Once Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo succumb to the harshness of age, Neymar is best placed to take up the mantle of ‘best in the world’.

That puts him in an elite group.

There have been hundreds of great players down the years but only a select few have been able to call themselves the absolute best.

If Neymar joins PSG now he will not be able to join that group and rejecting that chance is an insult to footballers everywhere.

Neymar is reportedly ready to try and be the star man of a club

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A touch more patience and he could leave Messi’s shadow and sit on the throne

No offence to PSG, but the standard of Ligue 1 is considerably below that of La Liga, the Premier League, Bundesliga and Serie A.

Whatever Neymar achieved in France would forever be tarnished by the quality (or lack thereof) of his opposition.

Most fans take Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s extraordinary goal record for PSG with a pinch of salt.

Serge Aurier mocked Zlatan Ibrahimovic during a public Q&A on Periscope

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The difference is Zlatan toyed with Ligue 1 defences at the end of his career, not at 25

Neymar is 25-years-old.

The next five years should be his peak years, his chance to maximise his legacy.

With Ronaldo and Messi the wrong side of 30, he should be targeting a Ballon d’Or in the near future.

Playing his football at the Nou Camp, a cathedral of football that has hosted so many previous winners of the award, is his best chance to achieve that goal.

Being Barcelona and Brazil’s key player sets him up for a level of greatness and recognition that only a minuscule fraction of players have an accessible route.

If Neymar chooses PSG’s money and the artificially inflated numbers that come with bi-annual games against Caen, Metz and Toulouse then he will deal football’s integrity a severe blow.

What the rest of us would give to have the world at our feet

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What the rest of us would give to have the world at our feet

Those players who are so gifted that they have the potential to be the best of the world have an obligation to repay the sport by doing all they can to reach the pinnacle.

Moving to PSG at this time in his career, tossing away the uniquely fortuitous platform on which he currently stands, could shatter football’s already warped moral compass.

Neymar, you have had Ronaldinho and Messi as mentors, you play for arguably the biggest club in the world and are the star player for the most-decorated nation in the sport’s history; you are that one in a billion player whose potential for greatness rises above all others in your bracket.

For the sake of fans and players everywhere who dare not dream of being in that situation, please don’t throw it away.

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