Football

(left to right) Dani Alves, Neymar, Marco Verratti.

Marco Verratti reveals why he and Neymar opted for Paris Saint-Germain over Barcelona

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Barcelona's success both domestically and in Europe has been phenomenal and it's no wonder the world's best players flock to the Camp Nou.

Philippe Coutinho is the latest example of a player who has tried - unsuccessfully - to force through a move to the Catalan giants in the summer, from Liverpool.

Ousmane Dembele, 20, became the club's record signing in the summer in a deal worth up to £135 million, while still boasting the obvious names like Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta and co.

However, for all the lure of Barcelona, Neymar bucked the trend by making a shock world-record £200 million move to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona during the summer.

It reminded the Spanish giants that, for all their fame, success and money, even they can't guarantee their best players won't be lured elsewhere.

And it's no surprise that most, until this summer, saw Neymar's transfer to PSG coming.

History suggests Neymar's PSG move is bizarre

The Ligue 1 giants haven't won the European title, compared to Barcelona's six, with the Spanish outfit having won the league in six of the past eight seasons in a far more competitive league.

PSG may have been able to offer a plethora of high-quality talent, but the league, in comparison, is somewhat depleted of quality. And that's where the shock lay.

Neymar had formed a part of the deadliest attacking trio in world football at Barcelona, the realistic opportunity of winning the Ballon d'Or in the future and a serious chance of further European success.

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Brazil's poster boy has already won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2015, but it was clearly not enough for the 25-year-old who confessed he went with his 'heart' over a most to PSG.

But for all the disappointment around Neymar's decision to seemingly make a 'lesser' move from Barca to PSG, his teammate Marco Verratti has reasoned with his move to the French capital.

Verratti reveals why he and Neymar chose PSG

Verratti, who turned down the chance of a €100 million move to Barcelona in the summer, told L'Equipe per the Daily Mail: "I'm honest, for the first time in five years I wondered if I should stay here.

"People think that I play for PSG for the money, but I could get that elsewhere, too. If I had moved in the summer, there were clubs ready to pay €100m to sign me and I would have earned a lot more.

FBL-EUR-C1-ANDERLECHT-PSG

"Neymar, he could have earned as much with Manchester City or Chelsea. He didn't sign here for the money but the project. It's the same with me."

Unai Emery was appointed the PSG boss last summer, after three successive Europa League successes with Sevilla, and Verratti is fully supporting the project they are working on together.

And given PSG's three wins from three in the Champions League so far this campaign, it appears the 'project' the Italy midfielder talks about is working.

Time will tell if they were both right to opt for the Ligue 1 giants over Barcelona.

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Topics:
Ligue 1
Football
Edinson Cavani

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