Jeremy Mathieu: 'Neymar left Barcelona because of Lionel Messi'

Mathieu: 'Neymar left because of Messi'
Former Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu says that Neymar 'felt overshadowed by Lionel Messi' at Camp Nou.

Former Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu has claimed that Neymar 'felt overshadowed by Lionel Messi' at Camp Nou, and that was the reason why the Brazilian decided to join Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

Neymar completed a world-record move to PSG at the start of August, with the French giants paying just short of £200m to sign a player that scored 105 times in 186 appearances for Barcelona between 2013 and 2017.

Mathieu also left Barcelona in the summer to join Sporting Lisbon, and the experienced defender has claimed that Neymar decided to leave the Spanish giants in order to fulfil his dream of winning the Ballon d'Or.

"Nobody thought he would actually leave Barcelona," Mathieu told EFE. "But football is unpredictable and these things happen, but I believe he always felt that at Barcelona he was being overshadowed by Lionel Messi.

"I know he wants to win the Ballon d'Or title and maybe he sees Paris as the place to present that case – he is happy and is already scoring goals."

Neymar has scored five times in six appearances for PSG at the start of the 2017-18 campaign.

Paris Saint-Germain forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe celebrate after scoring during the Champions League win over Celtic on September 12, 2017
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