Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has revealed that Neymar told him of his plans to quit the Catalan side whilst at Lionel Messi’s wedding.
Messi married his childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo at Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina in June of last year, where many of his teammates past and present were in attendance.
Xavi, who left the club in 2015 after a 24-year spell to join Qatari outfit Al Sadd, was among those on the guest list, having played alongside the Argentinian for several years.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Tifo Football, the 38-year-old opened up on a range of subjects, but perhaps none as interesting as Neymar’s record move to Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
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Quizzed over the Brazilian’s decision, Xavi revealed a conversation in which Neymar pointed out that he was no longer happy at Barcelona and wanted a new challenge.
“Neymar had the really big decision to decide his future and he decided to go to Paris Saint-Germain,” Xavi said.
“He said to us at Messi’s wedding that he wanted to change club. And I said to him: ‘But, why?’
“He said: ‘I’m not happy in Barcelona. I’d prefer to go out. To have a new experience in Europe, in Paris St Germain’. And finally it was his decision. We must respect it.”
Neymar completed his move in August, with PSG paying a whopping €222m to secure the deal.
Barça, though, are arguably in a better position than they were last season, despite the huge loss, and are well on their way to wrestling La Liga title back from rivals Real Madrid.