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Lionel Messi convinced Neymar to choose Barcelona over Real Madrid in 2013



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Neymar has become a hot topic in Spain right now as his trials over alleged corruption continue.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has recently revealed the club’s bid to sign the player a decade ago. He further stated that it was the player who opted to join Barcelona. Such has been confirmed by Neymar himself, as he thought of Barça as his ‘dream club’.

A new chapter in this hearing now sees Neymar’s former agent, Wagner Ribeiro, offer his side of the story.

The Brazilian, who used to be Neymar’s agent during his time at Santos, claims he had suggested at the time that the forward should join Real Madrid. But the player subsequently had a talk with Lionel Messi, who convinced him to join FC Barcelona instead.

“Once Real Madrid withdrew from the bid, Neymar had a conversation with Messi that was essential for him to sign for Barcelona,” Ribeiro said (h/t MARCA)

“I wanted him to go to Real Madrid who sent him a contract to sign. It was then that conversation with Messi took place and he decided on Barcelona,” he added.

There are reports that suggest Real Madrid had placed a much higher bid than Barcelona in their attempts to sign Neymar. However, Santos agreed the €40 million offer from Barcelona, which DIS, the investment agency that used to own 40 percent of the player’s rights, claims was part of the club’s plan to receive the revenue off the record.

DIS further claim that Santos and Barcelona worked together to hold several financial transactions that ultimately saw the Catalans pay much higher than the €40 million that was agreed upon.

But as the transactions were not part of official negotiations, DIS was devoid of the funds. As such, the Brazilian company has pressed some serious charges against not only Neymar’s family but the former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu as well.

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Real Madrid News

Key Real Madrid star will be fit for Valladolid clash despite national team withdrawal



Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images

Real Madrid have been greeted with some positive news on the injury front as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is expected to be fit and ready for the upcoming La Liga clash against Real Valladolid.

The 30-year-old custodian had flown away for national team duty with Belgium and played the full game against Sweden last week. However, the Real Madrid ace was sent back to the club over the weekend due to a minor adductor strain.

This raised concerns over the former Chelsea star’s condition, especially with a busy period lying ahead for the Merengues.

However, Mario Cortegana of The Athletic has eased any nerves surrounding his situation, reporting that Courtois was subjected to tests upon returning to Spain and there is no reason for worry.

The report states that Real Madrid expect their No. 1 to be fit and available for their next game which will be against Real Valladolid in La Liga on April 2, Sunday.

It is further stated that the knock Courtois sustained was not a new one and that the 30-year-old had felt discomfort in the same area during Los Blancos’ UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second-leg tie against Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this month.

Courtois has featured 32 times across all competitions this term, having missed a few matches due to fitness issues. He has managed just ten clean sheets and will be hoping to add to that against Valladolid, now that is reportedly fit to feature at the weekend.

In another boost, reports earlier today indicated that Toni Kroos does not have any injury after concerns were raised due to the midfielder doing individual training sessions over the past week.

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