Ronaldinho: I'd be happier if Neymar returned to Barcelona

A former Camp Nou icon would love to see a fellow Brazilian head back to Catalunya, but doubts a deal will be done for the Paris-Saint Germain star

Ronaldinho admits he would be “happier” if Neymar made a stunning return to Barcelona, but doubts a deal can be done for the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

A record-breaking €222 million (£199m/$258m) transfer took the Brazil international away from Camp Nou in the summer of 2017.

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It was suggested that the 26-year-old had grown tired of operating in the shadow of Lionel Messi and wanted to become a talismanic figure in his own right.

Neymar has impressed in France, despite seeing his debut campaign ended by injury, but has also been heavily linked with a move back to Spain.

Ronaldinho would love to see a fellow countryman back at Barca, rather than their arch-rivals Real Madrid, but is not convinced that an emotional reunion can be negotiated.

A man who spent five memorable years at Camp Nou during his playing days told Marca: “The important thing is that Neymar is happy.

“I like that my friends are always happy but, personally, I would be happier if he returned to Barcelona.

“But it’s something I don’t think will happen.”

While continuing to star at club level, Neymar has also inherited a role as leader with the Brazil national side.

Ronaldinho once filled a similar position, with the former World Player of the Year tasting World Cup glory with his country in 2002.

Now 38 years of age, a modern-day icon has called time on his illustrious career, with no competitive action taken in since leaving Fluminense in 2015.

Ronaldinho claims to be enjoying his retirement, with there no desire on his part to get back into the game.

He added: “I’m happy and calm here and don’t miss football.”