It’s not easy being a global star but being overshadowed by someone you still admire. Neymar came to Barcelona anxious to learn from Messi and to play at the ground where so many Brazilians had shone, and has won numerous trophies and edged closer to the Balón d’Or. He’s achieved nearly everything he wanted to, except one thing: to be the main man. It’s just not possible, Messi will always be the undisputed main man in the short term. That’s one of the reasons he now has half a foot away from Barcelona.
But Messi is not the problem himself. After initial wariness, Messi accepted him and looked after him. This wall was knocked down a long time ago, but in his four years at Barça, Neymar with his extroverted and open Brazilian character that makes him open to new challenges, has been accumulating other frustrations.
Neymar has lost nearly all his fellow Brazilians in the dressing room and he misses their open and cheerful character off the pitch. Alves has left, Douglas is on his way out, Adriano has gone, only Rafinha has left. Neymar doesn’t have problems with his teammates but it’s not the same as it is with his fellow Brazilians. He gets on with Messi and Suárez, but they have different lives off the pitch due to their age and family lives among other things. To make things worse, it seems that despite his father’s efforts, no new Brazilian’s will be arriving this summer.
His family is also putting pressure on him to be number 1 in the world. And despite, the team’s success in the last few years, personal glory is not getting any closer. His position on the pitch doesn’t help either. At Barça he has been playing out wide when his more natural position is in the centre, where he is more involved.
There are also financial issues, including tax issues. The allegations that have dogged his transfer have left a mark on his image and the player is fed up with the hearings, statements and allegations. His salary is also thought to be an issue. Despite signing a new contract in 2017, it is thought that this contract is dwarfed by the one Messi signed a few months later, with the Argentinian believed to be receiving triple the Brazilian’s wage.
The last frustration is the new manager. The problem with Ernesto Valverde is not personal but the Brazilian is not convinced. So, there is not one single reason pushing him to the exit. The player is settled in his personal life in Barcelona but he can’t help thinking the grass is even greener elsewhere.