As long as the Brazilian kept playing alongside Messi, he was never going to be Barca's main man, nor the best player in the world.
That's why he completed a world-record £198 million move to PSG in Ligue 1 - and it's proved a wise decision thus far.
In his first two league games for the Parisians, the 25-year-old has scored three and assisted three to inspire victory on both occasions.
Sunday night's game against Toulouse well and truly belonged to Neymar, who equalised for PSG at the Parc des Princes with an easy 31st-minute tap-in.
He then set up Adrien Rabiot to make it 2-1 before winning a penalty - which Edinson Cavani converted - and providing a stunning assist for Layvin Kurzawa.
Neymar drilled an inch-perfect corner into the box for Kurzawa to acrobatically volley home, making it 5-2.
PSG's sixth goal of the night was undoubtedly the best, though, and it comes as no surprise that Neymar was the scorer.
The Brazil international produced several moments of magic against Toulouse, but two really stood out.
The first was a incredible rainbow flick over Corentin Jean in the 90th minute, which you can watch below.
NEYMAR HUMILIATES JEAN...
And the second was his solo goal in stoppage time to give PSG a 6-2 lead, weaving in and out of Toulouse's defence before finding the bottom-right corner.
...NEYMAR HUMILIATES TOULOUSE'S DEFENCE
Neymar ending careers for fun. There were suspicions that Ligue 1 would be too easy for him and it would appear that's very much the case.
It's the Ballon d'Or which the Brazilian craves most, but questions remain of whether France provides enough competition for him to be recognised as the world's best.
Had he stayed at Barcelona, though, Messi would have helped him realise his dream.
In a last ditch bid to convince Neymar of staying, Messi vowed to help him win the Ballon d'Or during his time at the Camp Nou.
"You want to be a Ballon d'Or winner? I will make you a Ballon d'Or winner," is what Messi apparently said to Neymar, but his efforts failed.
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