Neymar reveals MLS ambition before retirement

22/02/2022; 1:57 PM By : Steven D. Thompson

Neymar burst onto the scene amid fanfare and plenty of celebration. The Brazilian is a talented player and coveted by many clubs. The domination of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi of the football scene was to be broken by Neymar, but many don’t believe he has fulfilled the promise. 

After winning the Champions League with Barcelona, Neymar was to succeed Messi, but he chose to leave for Paris Saint-Germain. Since his departure, his career has dwindled as other players have risen to take the spotlight.

Neymar’s teammate Kylian Mbappe has been talked of more and has shown that he can step into the big shoes of Ronaldo and Messi. Neymar is approaching the twilight of his career and looking unlikely to hit the heights he dreamed of. The Brazilian is already planning for the final chapter of his career, suggesting he wants to play in the MLS and Brazil before he retires.

Speaking on the Fenomenos podcast, Neymar says he dreams of MLS and returning to Brazil. Paris Saint-Germain made a statement of intent when they signed Neymar from Barcelona in 2017. The Paris club splurged big to land the Brazilian. They paid a world-record fee of £200 million to prise him away from the Nou Camp. The Brazilian arrived at the Parc des Princes with plenty of expectations, which remains unfulfilled. 

Neymar wants to play in the MLS 

Neymar has spent four-and-a-half years with PSG and has racked-up 91 goals and 56 assists. Along with Mbappe, he is the point of reference for the club, but it looks like he’s approaching the end of his career.

The Brazilian is coming to the end of his contract and is unlikely to renew it. Neymar’s current deal with PSG runs until the summer of 2025. It means he is stuck in Paris for the next three years, except there is an MLS club willing to shell out the cash to prise him away from the Qatari owned club. By the time his contract runs out, Neymar would be 33 years.

At that age, he may still deliver the goods and would be a target for European clubs. The Brazilian, however, seems bent on fulfilling his dream of playing in the US and Brazil before he hangs up the boots.

Criticism and emulating the big boys

There has been criticism of Neymar over the past four years. The Brazilian has not been regularly available for the Paris club. In the four-and-half years he has spent in Paris, Neymar has missed several league games.

Since they signed Neymar from Barcelona, PSG has played 177 Ligue 1 matches, but the Brazilian has featured in less than half of them. Neymar has only played 81 of those league matches.

Neymar has been more of a feature in their Champions League appearances, and he helped the club reach the final in 2020, where they lost to Bayern Munich.

Neymar, who came through the youth system at Santos, wants to return to the Brazilian club. He is also excited about playing in the MLS. Neymar wants to emulate the likes of David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who all played in the MLS.

As per bookmakers, current teammate Lionel Messi is also tipped to round off his career in the MLS.

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