Former Chelsea and France centre-back Frank Leboeuf feels that Neymar will not go through the same Leo Messi situation by ending up in the shadow of Kylian Mbappe at Paris Saint-Germain
Both Neymar and Mbappe joined the Paris outfit in the same summer transfer window in 2017, with the Brazil star signing for a world-record fee of around £200 million after spending four fruitful years at Barcelona. Despite a more than impressive goals tally of 105 in 186 appearances, the forward could never be the star man at the Nou Camp. Neymar was apparently frustrated at being in Messi’s shadow, with the Argentina superstar widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
The 26-year-old has enjoyed a successful time since joining PSG, so too has Mbappe, who played a crucial role in France’s World Cup glory this summer. Leboeuf was asked by an ESPN FC viewer if Neymar will be driven out of PSG if Mbappe wins the Ballon d’Or this year. The tweet read: “If Mbappe wins the Ballon d’Or, can we say that Neymar has successfully moved from Messi’s shadow to Mbappe’s shadow?
“Will Mbappe drive Neymar to move out of PSG?”
But Leboeuf feels Neymar’s relationship with his younger colleague is far better than it was with Messi. Which means the former Santos starlet will be staying in Ligue 1 for the time being. “They’re very much friends, they love each other,” Leboeuf said. “They like joking together. They have a very good partnership. So I think they are going to work together and get along very well. It wasn’t the same with Messi. I think it’s going to be good with Mbappe and Neymar.”
Both the stars suffered injury scares on international duty with Brazil and France, respectively, on Tuesday.
Neymar has somewhat fairly fostered an image of a footballing mercenary, though that may be more to do with his father cum agent’s dealing and interests. Whatever is said and done between him, Mbappe and PSG, if a good enough deal comes from the like of Real Madrid especially, one can’t help but think that Neymar will take the plunge and leave France.