Luis Suarez: Neymar would never join Real Madrid due to Barca 'admiration'
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez says there is “no way” Neymar could play for Real Madrid in the future due to the “admiration” he has for his former teammates at the Camp Nou.
Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona in a world-record €222 million deal in the summer, but there has been speculation that he and his camp have a long-term plan to use the Ligue 1 club as a temporary stop-off point before joining Madrid — as moving directly between the two La Liga giants was not possible.
Such a plan has been welcomed by Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and Neymar’s Brazil teammate Casemiro, and was not ruled out by his father last week, who said it was “too early” to start talking about whether the forward would play at the Santiago Bernabeu at some point in his career.
Speaking to Marca, Suarez was asked whether he could see Neymar playing on the other side of the Clasico divide.
“No way,” he said. “Sincerely, I don’t see it. I know how Neymar is and the admiration he had for Barcelona and his teammates. I don’t see him now going to play for Real Madrid.”
The last player to move directly between the two clubs was Luis Figo back in 2000, with the controversy around his shock switch from Barca to Madrid having heightened tensions between fans on either side.
Representing both clubs over the course of a career was more common in the 1990s, however. Recent Barca coach Luis Enrique, Michael Laudrup, Gheorghe Hagi, Robert Prosinecki, Luis Milla, Albert Celades and current Spain boss Julen Lopetegui all had spells at both Barca and Madrid.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan