Patrice Evra is adamant Brazilian superstar Neymar will “return to Barcelona and become the player he always was” if he leaves Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
Barcelona have been negotiating a deal with the Ligue 1 club to bring their former player back to Camp Nou, after he left the club on a world-record €222 million transfer two years ago.
Neymar meanwhile is yet to make a single appearance for PSG this season, after fans declared during the August 11 fixture they no longer want the 27-year-old.
However, former Manchester United and Juventus left-back Patrice Evra criticised the treatment of Neymar defending the Brazilian star.
“I think Neymar, there are a lot of people who don’t like him,” Evra said. “The problem in this world is that when you are yourself, people hate you, and when you lie, people love you.
“Neymar, I often speak with him and I wish that God would realise his plans. It’s always like that, when you arrive you are the king of the world, and when you leave… Looks like Neymar murdered someone. This is not the case.
“You’ll see, people miss Neymar for his genius, his way of playing. It’s true that with his dribbling, he sometimes gets annoyed, but it’s his football, he has to stay himself. And I assure you, people will regret him very much.”
“It’s simple, a football player must feel loved. When you feel too much negativity, you leave.”
“There are people, and maybe even the media, who use that, who criticise him for diving too much during the games,” Evra continued. “They create all this hatred around him. But Neymar is a good guy. He gave a lot to Paris.
“And then I’ll tell you, we’re talking about Neymar, but when Neymar didn’t play in the Champions League, Paris didn’t go any further. Neymar was not there for the two semi-finals. Neymar is too important for the PSG to lose him.
“I don’t know if they’re going to lose him, but if they do, they’ll lose a great player. And he will return to Barcelona and become the player he always was.”
Neymar has scored 34 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances despite both his seasons at PSG being interrupted by serious foot injuries.
The forward has made 51 goals from 58 games for PSG who will be without the Barca bound against Metz on Friday