Despite his contract at Camp Nou only expiring in 2018, talk of interest from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint Germain has been gaining momentum, yet compatriot Cafu, a two-time World Cup winner with Brazil, feels it would be best for Neymar’s career if he stayed in Spain.
“I hope that he can continue at Barcelona,” the 45-year-old told Laureus.com. “Barcelona is a team that supports him, it’s a team that provides him with structure to help him continue to shine.”
Neymar came third in the Ballon d’Or voting earlier this year, yet Cafu feels it is only a matter of time until the talented forward becomes the best in the world.
“Neymar’s moment will happen, it didn't happen this time, but the next time, for sure, Neymar will increase his advantage over the others,” he said. “Each player becomes the best in the world in their own time. He is very important for world football today, the way football should be played, content and happy. He could become one of the world’s best football idols.”
The Barca star face a Brazil conundrum, with the Copa America and Olympic Games coming up in the end of season break, yet Cafu feels Neymar should prioritise the Olympics as hosts Brazil target their first ever football gold.
“He is the most important player in the Brazilian team,” Cafu said. “I think he should play. If he does, we will be able to win an Olympic medal. We have never won an Olympic Games and for that reason it will be important for us. Independent of whether we won or lost the 2014 World Cup, the Olympics will be important for us to create more credibility.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu insists the club’s star player will not be moving anywhere.
"If someone wants to negotiate with Neymar, we will not give them permission," Bartomeu told Globo Esporte.
"Neymar will stay at Barcelona."